One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

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By Brandon Priest

Hello to the 70 - 80% of Goleta Union School District (GUSD) families that want in-person classes to open.

GUSD continues to fail our children both educationally and socially.  They have continued to ignore the CDC's recommendation to open schools. I encourage you to PLEASE read:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html .  

GUSD didn’t even bother to apply for a waiver while 30 other schools in our district jumped on the chance. Why not at least try? This signifies pure negligence from our administrators. 

GUSD’s “robust” distant learning program is abysmal at best. Less than 2 hours of instructions by a teacher and the rest of the day is scheduled for “independent studies”.  Good luck getting our younger children to work independently.

My child's teacher told her entire Zoom class that "GUSD has no intentions of opening until January at the earliest."  Regardless of what the CDC recommends or what science is telling us?  We just moved into the RED Tier which allows schools to open in 14 days under some modified conditions.  Our administrators said they have been working on in-person modifications since March.  Are they going to open Oct 13th?  According to one teacher, NO WAY.

My child is a good student, above average on every assessment test since kindergarten, actively participates in class, received achievement awards every year and never missed a day of school or been late.  Now, according to her schools "assessment data", under their "ROBUST" online teaching program she has fallen below the 28th percentile in math and 16th percentile for reading.  I will gladly take some responsibility for this drop as I try to work full time from home and teach during "independent work" time.  But, as I'm not a teacher and I am working, I can only do so much of THEIR job.  

In the meantime, they rearranged her daily schedule (ZOOM class time), without any notice and without consulting me first, to accommodate their time slotted groupings for underachieving students. smh!  Just because I work remotely doesn't mean I can change my schedule on the drop of a dime. 

GUSD refuses to listen to their student families so our voices need to be louder. Make a difference and be collectively heard by boycotting Zoom for one day on Monday 10/5. Spend the day with your kids teaching or doing fun activities or going outside getting some fresh air and exercise. 

Thank you for your time.

P.S. One of the reasons I like EdHat is that it allows comments/public discussion. Please voice your thoughts. I'm sure there is a lot more to add to this OP-ED.


Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at [email protected] The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.

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218 Comments

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sacjon Oct 01, 2020 01:50 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

WEBGUYSB - First of all, yes, I am practicing safety and wearing masks everywhere, distancing, washing, etc and even condemning family that don't do the same. That's not the point. The point is, we have to live with this. We can't keep shut down forever. The schools had a plan for hybrid learning. What happened to that? Why can't they do it now, after they were planning to do it in August before Newsom shut downs schools?

As for the "the scientists, doctors and virologists" you claim to listen to... well, they've all told Newsom that it is safe to allow a return to school if we're stay in this tier for 12 more days. Why do you ignore them when they allow schools to re-open?

Finally, the fact that they've allowed all these services and places to re-open indicates that it is SAFE TO DO SO. You can't live in fear forever. We've got kids and adults out there all over town doing modified sports, eating in restaurants, etc etc etc and there have been ZERO massive spikes in our numbers. In fact, our numbers have gone down despite all these things being open, hence the reduction to the red tier. If our numbers are going down, why can't we do what GUSD planned to do when our numbers were even higher? THAT is what I want to know.

dukemunson Oct 01, 2020 01:37 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

So you look to your conscience...and then still go get a coffee, grab groceries, hit the park and then go out on the funk zone? You deeply ponder the world and your role...and then enjoy the fruits and labors of EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY THAN TEACHERS???!!! This thing is here to stay. It's a bummer. We have to be smart. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. But life goes on. And enjoying anything and everything has to offer, while drawing in the line in the sand about public schools doesn't speak to your conscience, it's telegraphs your hypocrisy.

webguysb Oct 01, 2020 01:36 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

I'm not unhinged, just dismayed by the cavalier attitude so many people have about this virus. You point out how many people and kids are at parks and restaurants and out in the communities and use that as your own justification to open up schools, but just because others are out there making the problem worse, doesn't mean that everyone else should also jump on that bandwagon. I listen to the scientists, doctors and virologists and then make an educated assessment of what is safe to do and based on that assessment derived from critical thinking and an interest in keeping our community as healthy and safe as possible, I say that it is not only unsafe to open our schools at this time, it is morally inept and socially irresponsible to do so.

I really hope you all are safe and healthy and are working to reduce the spread and not make this pandemic worse. The sooner we all cooperate with mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding congregating in indoor spaces, the sooner we can defeat this thing and all get back to some semblance of normalcy.

webguysb Oct 01, 2020 01:35 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

I'm not unhinged, just dismayed by the cavalier attitude so many people have about this virus. You point out how many people and kids are at parks and restaurants and out in the communities and use that as your own justification to open up schools, but just because others are out there making the problem worse, doesn't mean that everyone else should also jump on that bandwagon. I listen to the scientists, doctors and virologists and then make an educated assessment of what is safe to do and based on that assessment derived from critical thinking and an interest in keeping our community as healthy and safe as possible, I say that it is not only unsafe to open our schools at this time, it is morally inept and socially irresponsible to do so.

I really hope you all are safe and healthy and are working to reduce the spread and not make this pandemic worse. The sooner we all cooperate with mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding congregating in indoor spaces, the sooner we can defeat this thing and all get back to some semblance of normalcy.

webguysb Oct 01, 2020 01:24 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

DUKEMUNSON - During an airborn viral pandemic that spreads asymptomatically in which over a million lives have been lost in 7ish months, YES!!! I absolutely look to my conscience when I leave the house. Every. Single. Time. I'm dismayed to read that you and so many of our community members seem to lack such a conscience! Shame on you for being a part of the problem and contributing to the spread of this virus rather than being a part of the solution and wanting to stop this thing and SAVE LIVES!

sacjon Oct 01, 2020 12:40 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

WEBGUYS - no need to get unhinged, I just pointed out that the article you rely on for your assertion does not really support it. I'm not the one who needs to work on reading. It's woefully clear you read nothing of my post ;)

Yes, sending kids to school puts them at risk of catching all sorts of things. Nothing new there. As for the covid risk, GUSD had a plan to do a hybrid model, that's all I want. I don't think it's safe for full-time "normal" school, just the hybrid, carefully planned model. We can't keep the kids home forever! They're already out playing modified sports (look at the hundreds of kids playing soccer at Girsh everyday), they're in pre-schools and daycares, they're in camps, they're at grocery stores, they're playing in small groups outdoors at the parks, they're now allowed INDOORS at restaurants, retail stores, etc etc etc.... and in 13 days they're allowed to go back to school. Your argument that kids get sick at school is flaccid. We all know that, but sometimes, the risk is worth it, especially when GUSD has put so much time and money into the hybrid model that they found to be safe enough to implement.

And again, enough with the simple "it's selfish" rag... This is about what's best for our kids, NOT ME. It's getting old, try a new one.

dukemunson Oct 01, 2020 12:37 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Do you look into your conscience every time you go to the grocery store? Into the hardware store? What about when your kids play with other kids at gymnastics class? Teachers and pretty much seems to feel OK with restaurants and bars being open. We're about to open Churches, gyms and movie theaters (as per health officials recommendations). Our teachers and administrators, who in your estimation are protecting us by keeping kids, are SENDING THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL!!!! I can see where you want to go with this, and draw a line in the sand and claim this is a health and safety issue, when it's just not. The teachers kids are in school...because to work they need their kids in school. JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!!!!!! So look into your conscience WEBGUYSB...and when you see everything open that you use, and all private schools and rich kid schools and teachers kids schools open...what does your conscience say about that...?

webguysb Oct 01, 2020 12:25 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

SACJOHN - You ought to research more, read more and apply more critical thinking.
Here's more information for you:
https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200908/Research-suggests-school-reopenings-contribute-to-rise-in-COVID-19-cases.aspx

You're right, I am free to have my child in the online only option and he is and I will not remove him from this option until the consensus from the scientists and virologists is that it is completely safe to do so for NOT ONLY THE CHILDREN, but everyone else at the schools and throughout the community.

Seriously... Have you never seen how a common cold can spread through a city like SB and Goleta? Schools and children are vectors for sickness and although you may be comfortable sending your sick kids to school to spread their germs, I am comfortable keeping my child home safe where he can't be rubbing his snot everywhere (as little boys and girls often do).

Look into your conscience and ask yourself if you're okay with your child surviving covid, but spreading it throughout the community and inadvertently killing your neighbors. Think of more than just yourself and realize that we are all in this together and the best way to defeat this is to hunker down and remain clean, socially distant and wear masks.

sacjon Sep 30, 2020 05:06 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

WEBGUYS - also..... you ought to read the article you shared.

"The CDC report did not indicate where or how the children became infected....experts also say many school-age children who are getting sick may not be getting infected in classrooms."

"Just as cases in college students have been linked to partying and bars, school children may be contracting the virus at playdates, sleepovers, sports and other activities where precautions aren’t being taken, said Dr. Leana Wen, a public health specialist at George Washington University."

So, when you say there's evidence of an increase CAUSED by schools "reopening too soon," you're not really correct at all.

sacjon Sep 30, 2020 05:00 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

WEBGUYS - that's 100% fine if you're not comfortable. You have the choice to do full online learning (at least at GUSD we have that) or home school. Point is, some of us are OK with the hybrid model the districts have been touting all summer but are failing to implement. I want to know, what changed? We were all ready for the hybrid model, then Newsom said no school in the fall. Fine, but now he's saying in 13 days we CAN go back. So.... where's that hybrid model? What happened that they're no longer pursuing what they spent all summer preparing for?

420722 Sep 30, 2020 04:17 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Brandon I am so with you but we’re in the SBUSD or I would join. If someone wants to start a boycott/protest for SBUSD I’m in. Maybe more than a day? How about a week? That ought to get their attention.

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 08:23 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

420722 - Thank you! Finally... ha. Please, SBUSD families, join us (maybe just me) in this boycott. I thought 1 day would be easier to swallow. I'll keep pushing.

a-1601506271 Sep 30, 2020 03:51 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

You all do have school board elections, as well as the overall county school board elections. Never a better time to hold the currently elected school decision makers accountable. Vote as if this matters. All school districts take ultimate direction from the the elected school boards, even the district superintendents. They are not just rubber stamps. They are the ones to put all these issues on the table for open debate and carving paths forward. Why else even have school boards? You have a good range of candidates to choose from, and a clear track record of what the current incumbents have offered you. Take a look at what the challengers and listen to why they stepped up at this critical time for our local schools. Continued K-12 failure is no longer an option.

mcinsb Sep 30, 2020 10:34 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

And what would the people you plan to vote for have done differently? Force a reopening when it wasn't safe? The county did that and we had a second spike that is the reason schools are still remote, and we are only now coming off of it. Or ignore the entire pandemic like our fearless leader did and hope it would go away on it's own? That's again why we are in this mess, because it wasn't properly dealt with earlier. THAT is the incumbent that needs to be voted out, 200,000 lives too late. Our children will eventually recover from this pause in learning; the lives that are lost or with long term health problems from COVID19 will not.

ce_416 Sep 30, 2020 03:44 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Brandon, I feel your frustration. I have kids in both school districts. The fact that both districts didn't even want to apply for a waiver is a joke. Now that we are in in this red tier, schools can open by October 13th without a waiver, but I don't see GUSD or SB making an effort to hit that mark. They have both said they going to wait til we get to the orange tier which means more of the pathetic 2hrs of remote learning. Maybe a boycott is what we need to get these administrators moving faster!

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 09:01 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

CE 416. Thank you! Please share this post with other like minded families in both school districts. Maybe boycotting both school districts for one day can make a difference. if not, let's boycott the next week and the week after and maybe a full week after that! Honestly, I've tried everything and don't know what else to do to get these guys moving.

bosco Sep 30, 2020 04:03 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Currently everyone is in home school to some extent. That is concern and it's not always possible or preferable.

Always_Running Sep 30, 2020 02:07 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Two months ago administration staff sent an email to our portal page asking our (parents) opinions, childs emotional and pros/cons to zoom. I think they said most parents preferred the school didn’t reopen.

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 08:11 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

ALWAYS RUNNING - SBUSD? I could be wrong but, to the best of my knowledge, I didn't see this from GUSD. I concur with DUKEMUNSON.

mm1970 Sep 30, 2020 04:30 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

They actually shared the breakdown during the school board meeting. It was really close to 50/50.

bosco Sep 30, 2020 04:05 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

While SBUSD never directly shared the breakdown, it has been told that it was roughly 50% when it came to parents (that's straight from L. Capps mouth). That's still roughly 7,000 students who's parent's want/need their children to be in school but don't have the choice.

dukemunson Sep 30, 2020 02:23 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

GUSD was at 75% two months ago when a lot more was closed than obviously is currently... so... from a GUSD perspective it’s at least 75% (and probably a bit higher)

Chip of SB Sep 30, 2020 01:29 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

We are one month away from an election. If you want schools to open anytime soon, voting is going to be the most effective way to make that happen. If we elect the right people at the federal, state, and local levels, we could end all the restrictions and get back to normal life at the beginning of next year. If the voters choose to keep schools closed in November, then you might consider homeschooling or a private school. If you can’t afford those options, I would look at moving to a state that still provides free in person public education.

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 08:07 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

CHIP OF SB - agreed and I will be voting! This conversation extends further than school alone. Let's make our voices heard.

sacjon Sep 30, 2020 03:21 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

CHIP - "ordering" the schools to open won't work. Teachers are refusing these orders all over the country. Stop blaming Newsom for this, blame the union and school district.

Chip of SB Sep 30, 2020 03:00 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Sacjon, the governor is also allowing schools to remain closed. Local elections are important, but the state and federal government also have the power to order the schools to open and/or cut off their funding if they don’t open. If the local officials won’t open the schools, force them to or cut off their funding at the state and federal level.

sacjon Sep 30, 2020 01:48 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

CHIP - you're out of touch on this one. Gavin Newsom (via his State requirements) is saying ALL schools can go back to in-person learning in 13 days from today. It's the school districts that are refusing to do so. This is not a federal or state issue at this point.

forrealnews Sep 30, 2020 01:14 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

The whole point of a boycott or a protest is to do something that really matters and creates an impact. While I don't agree with your outlook or reasoning, if you truly want to create some sort of real and impactful consequence, one day is pointless and would only matter of 70-80 % of families are truly that upset about it, which is highly doubtful. It also appears you are missing significant communications from the district. What did parents ever do when Netflix, video games, zoom, ipads, and electricity weren't vailable...and in some places still aren't consistently?

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 09:27 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

SEABIRD - You took the words right out of my mouth. But FORREALNEWS might have a point. Let's prove him wrong.

Seabird Sep 30, 2020 08:45 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

@Forrealnews, willing to place bets you ought to learn how to use a computer before you go spouting off about what you find "worthwhile."

forrealnews Sep 30, 2020 08:42 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Well, I guess you'll found out how many of those 70-80% of parents really care by whether they join or not. Willing to place bets nowhere near that percentage actually do nor that they think a one day boycott does anything worthwhile.

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 07:32 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

I always love the arguement FORREALNEWS is making about Netflix, and video games. I'm not trying to entertain my child, I am advocating for a better education.
Maybe you are right, it's a fruitless attempt to give a voice to those who feel they are being ignored. maybe nobody cares. But at least it's an attempt.
Maybe it's a coincidence that Donna Lewis (gusd superintendent) parentsquared their "Return to In-Person Instruction - Status Update" this afternoon or maybe this post had some impact in at least supplying us with a puff piece containing the same ole same ole rhetoric.

bosco Sep 30, 2020 12:58 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

I won't repeat much of what I've said in other forums here. But, I would expect GUSD and SBUSD to operate together. SBUSD Superintendent Maldonado recently released the plan for SBUSD last week. Her plan is to go to a hybrid model only when the County reaches the "Orange" tier and then full time school when the County is in yellow. For no good reason what so ever, the district has chosen to be more restrictive than the health experts. For anyone tracking the numbers like I do, understand it is highly unlikely SB County will ever reach yellow. If we're lucky, we may hit Orange before the end of the year. The list of science based facts that dispute this reasoning is too long for me to even list here (geographic/demographic distribution of cases, limited community spread, hospital capacity, limited health impact to children, masks, cohorts, outdoor learning, social distancing, etc.) It's unbelievable at the lack of common sense within a supposedly educated and trusted group of leaders. The only logical answer is that it is political.

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 08:03 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

BOSCO - I have read much of what you have said in other forums. "thumbs up". And thank you for your contribution to this forum.

bosco Sep 30, 2020 04:09 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

They're in lockstep on this one. It is highly unlikely one district would open and the other stay closed. I just can't see that happening. Unfortunately, it looks to me like they're taking their cues from the bigger districts in the State, specifically LAUSD (thanks to Maldonado). It just doesn't seem like anyone here wants to be a leader, our school districts are looking for every excuse possible to not open.

Simpleton Sep 30, 2020 12:02 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

My impression is that GUSD has been relatively transparent about their strategy: the educator's kids are on site now with aides, then small cohorts of special needs kids will come back, then at-risk students, and (maybe) then they'll open to all students. I may be pessimistic but I think that most students will be online all year at GUSD as there is no benefit for the district to be proactive. The GUSD appear to respond mostly to arguments around mitigation of liability and/or the threat of litigation. Not so much to Op-eds. Look for the big decisions to be made by the district in April when the 2021/22 budget is set and layoff notices go out to staff. Good luck making the best choices for you and your children.

Byzantium Sep 30, 2020 12:42 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

California Teachers Association union needs to have a good heart to heart talk with their buddies in Sacramento, the California Trial Attorneys Association if all they are talking about now is "liability". When did the demand for zero tolerance become part of any flu season?

GeneralTree Sep 30, 2020 11:44 AM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Brandon - your first claim is negated as Goleta schools do not need to fill out a waiver if the county has been moved to the red, which it was today. Did the board actually state the school wouldn't be open until January or just the teacher? If it was only the teacher you may want to clarify with school administration. Other than that, tiniest violin, sob story and drivel....

bpriest Sep 30, 2020 07:05 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

GENERALTREE! This is great. I always wanted a "tiniest violin". Thank you DUKEMUNSON for clarifying.

dukemunson Sep 30, 2020 12:17 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

Yes, the board states they won’t open till January... at the earliest... and that January is quite optimistic and unlikely.

Andrea Smith Sep 30, 2020 11:43 AM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

NJ has opened schools and while there have been 11 outbreaks, all were under control quickly and mitigation measures in place to prevent spread, etc. That's a good result. Newsflash - there are going to be outbreaks. The important thing is, how severe, if they are caught quickly, if they are asymptomatic cases and how many get sick and how severely. Masks keep the inoculum numbers down - the amount of virus particles you inhale - which goes a long way to preventing a serious case, as the less you inhale the better your immune system can respond to prevent high replication in your system. Schools can and should reopen, safely.

SBLIFE Sep 30, 2020 11:34 AM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

This strikes me as a very strange and pointless response. Why are you leveraging your kid's education, even for a day, to "make a point" that won't be noticed or acknowledged? Your time is better spent writing letters or calling your school board and other representatives. Keep your kid out of it. I get that it seems like a big deal to YOU to "protest" school for one day, but no one else but you cares that much about whether your kid is in school. Harsh but true.

420722 Sep 30, 2020 08:35 PM
One Day Zoom Boycott of GUSD

BPriest-that person is totally wrong about no one caring. Also, same with our school. A month into school and the teachers are still doing the “getting to know you” stuff for the whole class time. They should be way past that but I was a fool to believe zoom would be “meaningful” like our all mighty governor said. A couple days of protest will not hurt the kids, they aren’t learning much as it is. I am having to supplement to keep mine from getting bored.

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