PWEA Seeks Reversal of School Board's Return to In-Person Learning Plan

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Image from the PWEA Facebook site.
The Board of Directors of the Prince William  Education Association Board has sent a letter to the Prince William School Board, criticizing board members for choosing their own return to school building schedule rather than heeding the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools. The PWEA Board further requested that the school board reverse course to instead accept and implement the Superintendent’s plan that pushes back return to building dates for grades 4-12.  PWEA's Response to School Board Return to In-person Instruction Decision February 18, 2021, It is the strong belief of the Prince William Education Association Directors that certain members of the Prince William County School Board have repeatedly voted in defiance of science, safety and common sense. Pandering to vocal minorities and boardroom theatrics are no substitute for leadership in the midst of a pandemic. The PWCS superintendent has twice provided the PWCS School Board with reasonable timelines for a safe return to in-person learning, and twice the PWCS School Board has defied their own statement to support the authority of the superintendent to guide the division’s action. Dr. Walt’s plans were guidance by the myriad resources of the PWCS division and CDC guidance, whereas the vote taken by the PWCS School Board appears to only be guidance by the voices of 30% of parents who have chosen to send their students prematurely into the schools. At the request of the PWCS School Board, Dr. Walts collected the voices of school administrators regarding the readiness of the schools to open to in-person instruction and the resounding chorus was clear- “We need more time to prepare.” The PWEA has heard the realities “on the ground” and in real time- and they are not consistent with the fantasy projected by certain members of the PWCS School Board. [/pullquote] The infrastructure and staffing requirements for the fraction of students whose parents who have chosen to risk in-person learning is far from secure. As an organization of thousands of front-line workers, the PWEA has heard the realities “on the ground” and in real time- and they are not consistent with the fantasy projected by certain members of the PWCS School Board. There continues to be a dearth of substitutes for support staff, classroom instructors, and classified employees. The Prince William Education Association seeks the school board’s implementation of Superintendent Walts’ proposed plan dated February 17, 2021, which best supports the health, safety, and education of PWCS students and employees. Sincerely, PWEA Board of Directors At its February 17 meeting, the school board voted to implement its own plan Return to In-Person Learning Plan as previously proposed.   It was agreed upon by Chairman At-large Babur Lateef, Justin Wilk (Potomac), Jennifer Wall (Gainesville), Lisa Zargurpur (Coles), and Diane Raulston (Neabsco.)

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