Dear folks in charge of the decision making down at the School District,
When I last wrote you in April, I pleaded for you to refrain from having a “spring break” from COVID distance learning when we were all still required to be inside our homes, instead of outside at a beach the way our forefathers intended. You failed to heed my request and went ahead with a pointless week of kids in the house with nothing to do, leading to much of our furniture being broken by wrestling teenagers.
That was one example in a long line of decisions on your part that has left me underwhelmed by your educational stewardship of our youth, not to mention your regard for our home furnishings. And now, here we are at another pivotal decision point.
The California Department of Education has recently released its recommendations for how this coming school year might begin. This represents a massive opportunity for you to redeem yourselves in the eyes of the parents, teachers, coaches, and students, by wholeheartedly rejecting every single one of the asinine ideas they came up with when they weren’t over in the corner of the capitol building eating paste or sniffing their highlighters.
Apparently, the folks in Sacramento are aware that we have children living here in the state, but have never actually met one in person. That’s the only explanation for what they came up with.
I won’t bore you with all sixty-two pages of the recommendation, because, frankly, I didn’t bore myself with them. I stopped reading after the first one or two points in the summary. Just glancing at the summary was enough to surmise that the other sixty-one pages must consist largely of legislative crayon scribbles and drool stains.
Here’s where I stopped reading:
“The guidance asks schools to try to keep students six feet apart at all times — in class, in the hallways and at recess.”
So, in order to maintain the six-feet-apart requirement, they plan to limit classes to between ten and fifteen students at a time, or perhaps hold traditional sized classes in much larger auditorium-style classrooms they will build quickly for every elementary, middle, and high school in the state in the next seven weeks.
If they stick with the existing classrooms, I’m assuming all classroom doors will be widened to a minimum of ninety feet to accommodate all fifteen students at once, as per standard student classroom entry protocol. Class times will obviously need to be extended to account for the half hour it will take to open and close the massive door.
Individual learning and problem explanation will now take place between the teacher and student from six feet apart using a long stainless steel pointer that rests, when not in use, next to the teacher’s desk in a fifty-five-gallon drum of hand sanitizer. Teachers over the age of thirty will be issued binoculars as well to be able to read the student’s paper or computer screen from six feet away.
In order to keep the students six feet apart in the hallways and at recess, each student will be assigned an Individual Student Social Distance Monitor adult to follow them around all day (from six feet away) to make sure they stay properly socially distanced. Since this will double the amount of people on campus (all needing to stay six feet apart), all campuses will immediately be doubled in size and all classrooms will be moved twice as far apart.
Individual Student Social Distance Monitor applications are now being accepted. Background checks are being waived due to the sheer amount of adults required. Since all of this on-campus social distancing is obviously a moot point if the students don’t continue it off-campus once the final bell rings, the ISSDM is a full-time, 24/7 position including room and board at your assigned student’s residence.
Each campus will also be adding multiple “screamer” positions. Screamers will be placed high in trees, man lifts, balconies, etc. and are in charge of yelling at everyone when they forget to stay six feet apart.
Kindergarten through third grade will go to a one-to-one teacher/student ratio in order to give the ISSDM’s a break during class time but still maintain proper in-class separation. Class sizes will be reduced to a maximum of seven students to fit everyone in with proper spacing. Traditional teaching credential requirements are also being waived to accommodate the huge numbers of new teachers required.
Among the many other expansions required, elementary campuses will need to add four times as many K-3 classrooms. An alternative to this would be to maintain current campus facilities and elongate the K-3 curriculum to a sixteen-year program. This could be beneficial since the elementary students would also be qualified to act as ISSDM adults by the end of second grade.
Listen, School District Folks, you have the opportunity to garner the love, affection, and possibly even respect of a vast majority of those involved here. Tell the State of California to kindly kiss your ass and send kids back to normal school in August.
For once, please think about this logically. Those parents that think returning to normal in August is a terrible idea are PARENTS. They have met kids before. They already logically know this idiotic plan won’t keep kids from being all over each other, and they’re already making other plans for their children’s education.
The rest of us are begging you. Please don’t waste more of our money. Please don’t make the teachers’ jobs harder than they already are. Please don’t continue to diminish our students’ education with distance learning or less days on campus. And, overall, please don’t punish our kids in the process. We want them to go to school, not jail.
In short, we need them out of the house!
Yours in educational excellence through continued partnership,
Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen
Check out The Smidge Page on Facebook. We like you, now like us back!
Also visit Marc’s Amazon.com Author Page for all his books. Enjoy!