Give us time

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Lauren Coupland

Feb 21, 2022, 7:11:32 PM2/21/22
to, Ellen Ben-Naim,,, Christine Bernstien, Melanie Colgan,, Jennifer Guy, Karla Crane
President Colgan and members of the board, 
There has been exactly one school day since the Governors announcement.  I understand that it took all of us by surprise.  You have heard many opinions.  People are tired of masks.  I get it.  I am too.  

You have heard that parents of high risk kids, kids too young to be vaccinated, and other high risk individuals are extremely concerned.  We have not had time to figure out what this means.  We have not had time to speak to our doctors, our specialists, who know our health history.  We have not been able to discuss with them whether they think that in person learning can be safe for us if there isn't universal masking.  

The schools have not had time to hold IEP meetings, to figure out how they will manage the federal requirement of providing a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for high risk students.  

The union hasn't had time to fully understand the issue.  In LAFSE's letter, they requested that masks be optional AND that you follow all CDC recommendations, which state "CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all* students (ages 2 years and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status."

Rash decisions benefit no one.  You have another meeting on Thursday, as well as on Tuesday March 8th.  Allow families of students on chemotherapy, families on immunosuppressants, families of students with chronic health issues time to consult with their physicians. Allow time for schools to hold IEP meetings and create medical plans so that they are not out of compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  

Without this time, you will do significant, potentially illegal harm to our most vulnerable populations.  

Lauren Coupland
Parent of high need, high risk children
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