Public Comments for: SB1357 - Through-year growth assessment system; Board of Education shall establish.
Last Name: Duke Locality: Glen Allen

Please support SB1303 in lieu of substitution bill. Schools have been closed long enough and need a clear plan to re-open. Many will not do this on their own until they are required to by law. Legislate required opening of face to face will get the ball rolling with re-opening plans from all schools. Put Virginia children's needs at the table with teacher unions. Do schools exist to provide comfortable jobs for teachers, or DO THEY EXIST TO EDUCATE CHILDREN? The answer is clear, educating children is the reason for schools, and it is not happening adequately in the virtual format.

Last Name: Steele Locality: Henrico

Yes we need to get our kids back in school dull time it's been way to long now the kids are hurting more ways then one please pass the bills and get our kids back in school asap

Last Name: Harris Locality: Floyd

Im a student from floyd i hate online school because it is harder and i dont get to see a lot of my other friends.Its been hard and i hope this all ends so we can see all of our friends again and for things to go back to normall again.

Last Name: shibley Locality: Sterling

You need to open up our schools to 5 days! My kids have fallen way behind and hate school. I will have one starting middle school and a junior in high school! My son NEEDS to go to high school 5 days s week. His most important year. Don't delay this. You gave vaccinations to the teachers. They should have to go back in person and if not, find ANOTHER JOB! it's not rocket science people! Offer virtual to those who are scared and the rest if us 5 days. You are wasting precious time, that we will never get back. You had a YEAR TO FIGURE IT OUT. We are on of the wealthiest county and use to have an excellent school system..not anymore! People are having to put their kids in private schools, home schooling or just flat out moving to a different STATE. THIS IS ABSURD. Get our kids back to school 5 days a week and get the sports back and running properly. My kids deserve better them this! Kids are committing SUICIDE ! The mental health is at stake in do many of these kids. Do your jobs and get schools back and running 5 days a week!

Last Name: Thrift Locality: Norfolk

I encourage you to support both of these bills. As our Governor stated, it is time to get our children back in the classroom. After losing 3 months of school in the spring of 2020 and many districts remain virtual, our students are not receiving the education they need and deserve. Most teachers are trying but there is no way students that are learning virtually are getting the same amount of instruction as students in a classroom. I know some students are flourishing but most are not. I know families that have changed residency to other states where they kids can get in person learning. I have friends struggling because they are paying for private school because their child(ren) need in person instruction. SOLs for all grade levels should be done away with. They are without a doubt the worst thing that’s happened to education. Ow teachers teach to a test. I hear from so many teachers that they don’t have time to do all the fun stuff they’d like to because they have to make sure students are prepared for the SOLs. I know this bill only deals with 3rd-8th grade but it’s a start. Growth based assessments are certainly more appropriate especially after all the school that was missed because of COVID. If you are unsure on how to vote regarding SOLs, ask a teacher. They will tell you that SOLs need to go!

Last Name: Hay Locality: Virginia Beach

We need SB1303 passed for our students across Virginia who NEED face-to-face education. I believe the following reasons are important to consider reopening school for face-to-face instruction. I am not linking articles to each of my points but trust you can find the data to support my assertions with a simple google search if interested in learning more. 1. Mental health. Remote learning has isolated students and has increased depression, anxiety, suicide, and a host of mental health issues among our students. Social interaction with peers is critical for emotional wellbeing and virtual education will continue to erode student mental health the longer it is allowed to continue. 2. Lack of interaction in the classroom decreases engagement, hinders teambuilding skills and collaborative learning, and disrupts learning about diverse perspectives. Working together in the classroom allows students to work together in real-time, without the option of "logging off" or "checking out" during a virtual presentation or workgroup. It encourages critical thinking in a group environment to solve problems collaboratively. 3. Many classes cannot be experienced adequately without hands-on opportunities. For instance, my son is a trombone player, and band has been quite difficult for him on his own. As a support instrument that doesn't play the melody, it has taken a large part of the joy and engagement of working together with a band as he cannot see how he contributes to the whole. In addition, I have two students taking STEM classes. Instead of building circuits and doing other projects that would be dangerous doing at home on their own to learn certain skill sets and education modules, they have spent a lot of time viewing YouTube videos and watching STEM instead of engaging in STEM. I know of several other students who can't enjoy their vocal music or theater classes as well, and then there are the students who want to study the trades and are missing valuable hands-on experience the trades education requires. 4. All COVID-19 data points to virtually no risk of serious illness or death to people under age 20. In addition, in school districts where in-person education is offered, school transmission rates are extremely low or non-existent. We are holding our students hostage and asking them to sacrifice their education by keeping them virtual. 6. Virtual learning puts an incredible burden on low-income, single-parent, and dual working-parent families, especially those with students in the earlier grade levels. Virtual learning requires parents to pay for childcare, and in many cases, students will be left unmonitored and unaccountable, except in the grade book. This scenario will not encourage students to reach their full potential by any measure. It is time to stop allowing fear to dominate our decisions and to instead move forward in providing the face-to-face instruction students need for their overall academic and mental health. A lot has been learned in the past few months to allow for our students the chance to return to some normalcy, in an environment that challenges them academically, grows them socially, feeds them emotionally, and refreshes them physically. Important growth metrics and many opportunities have been lost the past 10 months by Virginia's students, and it's time to work towards helping them make great strides forward again in their education. Thank you.

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