Reader writes: school board has failed to provide data supporting decision to go back to full capacity.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cori James, 52, Loveland, OH

LOVELAND, OH (October 20, 2020) – Our school board has failed to provide district families with specific data that supports their decision to abandon our district’s current hybrid model.

When the board recently voted to increase capacity, they chose to:
1) Disregard (per the LJB report) the advice of experts hired by our district
2) Disregard (per district survey results) the unwillingness of most families, students and staff to increase capacity at this time (mid-semester, with 2 of 3 district counties at Level 3 Red (“very high exposure and spread”)
3) Voluntarily disregard one of our district’s own basic safety protocols: masks, sanitation and distance
4) Cause further disruption to our students’ schedules due to increased quarantines that, under the current hybrid model, would be unnecessary.
The board has still provided no indicators of what, exactly, had changed that supported this new decision; avoiding specific examples as to the number of students that would now be affected by each new case.  In older grades, eliminating social distancing means each new case forces numerous additional students, in each of their seven classes, to stay home; missing work, sports, extracurriculars as well as in-person class.  
We repeatedly ask our students to follow social distancing guidelines outside of school but are now forcing them to ignore this protocol in school, where they will now spend 6-7 hours in close contact with numerous classmates.  District families deserved to hear the supporting data and probable effects of the decision, along with an opportunity to respond, prior to this vote.

The current hybrid model follows safety guidelines, provides a set schedule, avoids unnecessary quarantining and, most importantly, allows students to be in school.  This decision lacks factual support/explanation, ignores feedback/local data, does not prioritize student and staff safety and is just not in the best interest of district students at this time.

EDITORS NOTE: The following graphic content was submitted by the author of the letter and was not created by Loveland Beacon publishing or editorial staff. 

Survey results (note LHS staff, family and student responses, scale “1-5”, there was no option to select “0”):

Apparent screen shot from “virtual” Loveland School Board Meeting 10/06/2020 ( Provided)

Explanation of decision (per district website re-opening plan):

Why are we going back to 5 day in-person learning? Beginning in August, the Loveland City School District Board of Education’s goal was to have students in class for five-day in-person learning. During the September 22 meeting, the Board passed a resolution to return to 5 day in-person learning. In a 3-2 vote, the Board approved a plan to phase in a return to in-person learning after beginning the year with a Blended Learning model.

Cori James, 52, is a resident of Loveland, Ohio. NOTE: He chose not to supply a photo of himself for publication with this letter to the editor. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The preceding letter/opinion was submitted for inclusion by the author  and approved for publication in PEOPLE’S VOICE on Loveland Beacon by members of the Editorial Board of Loveland Beacon. The author is not a member of the Loveland Beacon staff and  received no compensation for his contribution.