SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- A "Rally to Open SPF Schools" has been organized to "demand transparency and action based on resident taxpayers' silenced voices."

The event is scheduled to take place at Park Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 4:00 p.m.  

The flier states: "If you feel staring at a screen all day for 100% online teaching is detrimental to our children's educational and social development and far outweighs the risks of COVID19, especially with precautions in place to reduce contraction of the virus..."

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If you feel as a tax paying resident it is criminal for Scotch Plains & Fanwood NOT to reduce property tax payments, or even  have reimbursed taxes for the "educational services" that were extended so far this year... All the while, EXPECTING PARENTS TO GIVE UP EMPLOYMENT AND PAY FOR ADDITIONAL CHILD CARE TO BE ABLE TO MANAGE AT HOME LEARNING.

Organizers said they expect a big crowd and made a decision to have this rally after reading all the posts on the SPF Early Elementary Parents for Change Facebook page and the SPF Community pages. 

The following statement was sent to TAPintoSPF:

Many of us emailed Dr. Mast with our questions and concerns over the past week or two about the proposed Hybrid plan and reopening plan and our emails weren't responded to.  We submitted questions for Dr. Mast's Town Hall that went unrecognized and unanswered.  We just want to be heard as parents. To be included. To be part of the solution. 

We want our schools to open, and to open safely. We want our children, our teachers, and our school staff to be safe.  We want our children to receive the best education through the best vehicle possible and for many of us that's through in-person, in-school learning. We want to understand our options for supplemental education and childcare for our children when there are working parents who cannot help their children learn virtually or be home.

The organizers provided a list of questions they'd like to see answered: Hike how are teachers with school-age children themselves be able to teach because they have to watch their own children? How are children with IEPs get the extra attention they need? How many teachers are we going to lose?

Our hearts go out to the teachers. We all need to know how it's going to work. Per Gov Murphy on 8/12: "Under the new guidelines, districts that choose to begin the semester remotely will be required to explain why they could not meet state health and safety standards to open in person, provide a plan for meeting those standards and provide a date when they will begin in-person instruction."

We want to see that plan. We are entitled as parents to see that.

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