School District of Beloit:
The School District of Beloit is the only district in Rock County that has been closed for in-person learning for over a year.
Academically, Beloit schools ranked 414 out of 421 schools in the state before the shut down in March of 2020. That puts the School District of Beloit ranking in the bottom 2% of Wisconsin schools. Where will Beloit Schools rank after keeping Beloit kids out of school for more than a year?
Merrill and Hackett Neighborhoods have been the most affected during this shutdown with lack of technology, internet access, and parental influence all being main factors. In these neighborhoods, full-time participation in the elementary school level is only at about 37%. It is an astonishing and troubling number to grapple with. The children who need schools open the most are the the same ones who are hurt the most by school closures.
The Role of the School Board:
Members of the school board are public servants and are supposed to work for us — the taxpayers and students of Beloit. We deserve a school board that represents the students in our district, not special interests or teachers unions.
The School Board positions are non-partisan. It doesn’t matter if you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, or you choose to ignore politics. What matters is that you care about children and the importance of a quality, in-person education.
Despite being non-partisan, several of the board members affiliated with the democratic party have accepted campaign contributions from the B.E.A. (Beloit Teachers’ Union) which has been largely instrumental in keeping the district closed. The very same Teachers’ Union that has fought tirelessly to keep schools closed is endorsing two candidates for School Board, Sean Leavy and Spencer Anderson.
Also, why are the members of the School District’s Board of Education still absent at meetings? The Board members that refuse to show up don’t even care enough to turn on their cameras and show they are paying attention, much less actually get dressed and drive to Kolak.
What are they doing during the meetings? Are they even listening? Making a sandwich? Watching TV? Playing with their pet? Texting each other? A picture of an airplane is not a valid substitute for an attentive, in-person board member. If they aren’t willing to show up, perhaps they should reconsider their role as a public servant.
Beloit Students Deserve More:
“Neighborhood schools are more than just just bricks and mortar structures. They are community anchors. They hold our memories. They represent the collective experiences of generations of students that walk their halls. We grow up in schools. They hold our exhilaration, our fears, our accomplishments, and our failures.
Schools shape the people we become in ways great and small. Public schools serve all children regardless of the challenges they bring with them each day. Teachers and administrators step up to meet their needs in a way that is deeply human, in ways that no virtual tutor ever could.”
Allison McDowell – The 4-Minute Version-Ed Reform 2.0 The End Game
Hybrid is not acceptable. Virtual is not acceptable. Remote is not acceptable. Our kids deserve more. How will they be prepared for college or future jobs?
OUR STUDENTS DESERVE A QUALITY IN-PERSON FULL-TIME EDUCATION.
How You Can Help:
This is your chance to make a difference for Beloit kids. Vote for the candidates that want to make a real difference in the lives of our youngest citizens. Local elections matter and they can impact our lives far more than larger national elections.
- On Tuesday, April 6, Vote for Candidates that Support In-Person Learning.
For State Superintendent, that is Deborah Kerr.
For the School Board of Beloit, vote for Christine Raleigh and write in Jason Jacobson. *Update* Unfortunately, Jason Jacobson withdrew his candidacy papers. You can still write his name in. You can also write in Mickey Mouse or Santa Claus. Whatever you do, please do not use your second school district vote for one of the other candidates listed on the ballot if you ever want a chance of schools opening full time for in-person learning.
This sample ballot shows how I plan on voting in the spring election. I am voting this way because I care about children and I want schools opened FULL TIME.
2. Text: OPEN to 866-552-0238 for reminders and updates or use this form: This is critical because our work will not end on April 6.
Learn more ways to help by visiting our help page.
About the Candidates:
Learn more about the candidates by visiting their pages:
Deborah Kerr (for State Superintendent):
Christine Raleigh (for Beloit School Board)
- Register to vote here.
- Request an absentee ballot here if you choose not to vote in person or would like to vote early.
- Find your voting location here. Or check this map: City_of_Beloit_Ward_Map_(2016)
School District of Beloit Alternatives:
Unfortunately we are increasingly being forced to seek alternatives as The School District of Beloit continues to deny it’s students a quality, in-person, full-time education.
For Educators and Other District Employees
The future of education if you don’t fight for “essential” in-person learning:
The return to in-person class hasn’t led to a rash of community outbreaks in study of 2.87 million cases of people under age 24
COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – first update (December 23, 2020)
CDC-Factors Associated with Positive SARS-CoV-2 Test Results in Outpatient Health Facilities and Emergency Departments Among Children and Adolescents Aged <18 Years — Mississippi, September–November 2020
“Children are more likely to be infected by a family member who doesn’t take the proper safety measures, than at school.”
The faces of school closures:
- Age < 14 – Risk of dying from COVID 1 in a million
- Age 15-24 – Risk of dying from COVID 1 in 100,000
- To put in context, school aged kids are 10x more likely to die from suicide than COVID-19
COVID-19 and learning loss – disparities grow and students need help
“The pandemic has set back learning for all students, but especially for students of color.”
A Quiet and ‘Unsettling’ Pandemic Toll; Students Who’ve Fallen Off The Grid
“An estimated 3 million students may have dropped out of school learning since March.”
The Social Safety Net in the Wake of COVID-19
Food insecurity rates have increased almost 3x over pre-COVID rates.
Why Partisan Politics Keep 14 Million Hungry Children From Getting the Food They Need
“Before the pandemic, low-income children got half their calories from school meals.”
Mental Health, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life of US Adolescent Athletes During COVID-19-Related School Closures and Sport Cancellations: A Study of 13 000 Athletes
“The total Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory score was lowest (worst) for athletes from counties with the highest poverty levels”
Re-opening of Schools and Guidance
- World Health Organization
- Use of 1 meter with flexibility based on age and mask wearing
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Suggests 6 feet if possible, but flexibility to 3 feet
- “Schools should weigh the benefits of strict adherence to a 6-feet spacing rule between students with the potential downside if remote learning is the only alternative.“
- Harvard Risk Reduction Strategies (page 28)
- “This section was updated to indicate that while six feet of distancing is a good goal and should remain for adult to adult interactions, it should not be used as a hard cutoff and that three feet of distancing between children is acceptable for normal classroom activities.“
- The updated guidance from 12/18 of the larger “Harvard” group indicates that 3 feet is sufficient for children, that no level of community spread should “require” 6 feet of distancing for grades K-8, and that grades 9-12 should only revert to strict 6 foot distancing at 100 cases per day per 100,000 of population
- Mayo Study
- Researchers indicated that 6 feet was beneficial when subjects were unmasked, but with universal masking, 3 feet distance demonstrated similar exposure to the 6-foot scenario with no masks
Still Disinfecting Surfaces? It Might Not Be Worth It
“all the evidence points toward breathing in the virus from the air as being the most important route of transmission.”
Interviews and Articles:
Fixing Virtual Failure by Rebecca Kleefisch
“The Chicago teachers’ union declared, ‘The push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,’ despite dozens of studies showing the devastating effects of remote learning specifically on minority groups and women.”
Biden Vows to Reopen Schools After 1st 100 Days on Job
“It should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school,”
We are a grassroots group of parents, students, and other concerned citizens. We are not affiliated with any political group or campaign. We are not accepting donations. If you would like to help get Beloit schools opened again full-time for in-person learning, please visit our help page.