A Word from a Family…

My husband and I are from Houston, TX. We moved here in 2017 for a job. We have 5 children,
ages 17, 16, 13, 11, and 9 years old with grade level of rising Senior, Junior, 8 th , 6 th , and 4 th .
When COVID threatened our country in March, we shutdown just about everything except essential
workers to provide our living needs. Never once did I consider that our teachers were non-essential.
I knew our teachers are essential in assisting the growth, skills, and education for our children which
they are our future innovators/labor/collaborators/ families for many generations to come.
Never did I question the teacher’s ability or skills in which I put my trust in them to provide equitable
education to the best of their ability.
Here we are, in the battle for our children’s education which is solely in the hands of the School Board
/Superinten-dents/ Supervisors all the way to the Governor of VA that allowed the Teachers to decide
whether or not they should teach, not the voice of parents.
Here are some of the problems we have encountered because the school decides to do virtual:
We are not experts in teaching certain subjects to our children. We would not know what or where to
teach our children which is why we pay through our taxes to pay for teachers.
My Senior cannot do dual enrollment because the college classes hours do not match the hours the
HS standard number of hours. There was no flexibility at all from the School Board, whatever
happened to extenuating circumstances?
We found a college and accepted by county for less cost to allow for dual enrollment but decline
classes due to not meeting the standard (but we are not in standard conditions) but if we go to NOVA
community college which cost 3 times a much, they will accept it easily.
My Senior and Junior will miss out on hands on experience in Academy classes. How can I do the
hands-on practicality at home?
My children are such extroverts and no virtual activity will make up for lack of socialization and
behavior normalcy. How will games virtually make up for closeness, laughter, running around, fun
banter, one on one interaction with their friends?
We are unable to afford any private tutors/schools, or assistance needed to make up for lack of
education that teachers will not be able to provide since it is virtual. The School Board in no way will
consider giving us a “refund” or divert our taxes portion to assist us in private tutor to make up the
difference…
Our relationship with our teachers and administration is distanced because of reduced instruction
time, less education materials, more abuse of system (cheating) while virtual, not a true method to
test ones’ ability to excel in knowledge on honest merits, and now education is modified as not
exemplary but satisfactory.

We are stuck with what is provided at mediocre environment and School Board is saying stuck it up.
We are all in this together.
School Board/Superintendents say they will follow the advice of experts in dealing with COVID to
determine metrics to allow us to return to school. All experts, studies, science indicate it is safe to go
back to school. We are still doing virtual. All the while, the county decides, “let us help families with
daycare”, by using our schools and hiring caretakers while in schools while we still can do virtual with
the rest of the student body. How does that make any sense?
There is too much power in the School Board/Superintendents/Supervisor role in my children’s
education.
Never mind the fact that Teachers are essential, and we need to enforce the contract they signed to
teach the children in a safe manner.
Never mind the fact that our taxes pay for their wages.
Never mind the fact basing on closing the school is not based on science.
Never mind the fact that we support parents who chose virtual but that was not reciprocated for us to
do face to face.
Never mind the fact the survey which was promised that we would return to school based on
parent’s choice. We as parents know what is best for our children, not the school.
Never mind that the fact School Board/Superintendent do not have a backbone to tell teachers we
can let children return safely and you must return to school and teach.
Never mind the fact that we do have money to help cover the cost to safely open our schools.
Never mind the fact the District has admitted that virtual will stunt kids’ education and they say how
they will make it up is not directly related to increasing educational knowledge.
Never mind the fact they controlled every aspect of our children’s education choice, particularly how
parents choose to use other services (i.e.… private or homeschooling) to provide for the
education of children, in which the School Board discouraged us from doing on their websites.
Never mind the fact they will not and have not listened to parents.
Never mind the fact since we are in extenuating situation that they do not allow some flexibility for
education choices such as allowing senior to graduate early or dual enrollment options, not
offering hands on education.
Never mind the fact the lack of support we as parents need to provide for our children that our taxes
will not be diverted for our benefit.
So here we are…getting ready to start virtual. We will let you know how it goes. Never mind, it will
not be good.

Story shared by:

JG

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