^
Keep Westword Free
4

Op-Ed: Students and Families Need More Support From Denver Schools

Are some members out of touch?EXPAND
Are some members out of touch?
DPS Board of Education

This year of school has been a challenging one for students, their families and teachers. As we all try to give grace and navigate the obstacles that lie ahead, we have to be willing to adapt and make changes to support families and students during COVID-related learning disruptions.

As a teacher, I am well aware of how challenging remote learning is for my students and their families. I have about half of my students who attend remote learning regularly, which means almost daily I am missing about half of my class. I understand that the number-one priority of families right now is to keep their kids safe and healthy during this global pandemic, and I agree. I live with eight other people in my household, some of whom would be at great risk if they got this deadly virus. I know that we are likely going to be working with remote learning through the fall as COVID rates continue to rise, and I know that means families need the resources to support their students' at-home learning, and that we need strong leadership in Denver Public Schools to help us navigate this crisis.

I am very grateful for the leadership of Superintendent Susana Cordova as she continues to navigate some of the most tumultuous years I have seen in DPS: a teachers’ strike, political unrest and now, an unprecedented pandemic. It does feel as though there are some members of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education who are out of touch with what families are experiencing and what they need in this moment. Last month, the board passed two resolutions, one on innovation school policy changes and one on unionizing principals — both of which had nothing to do with the 93,000 students and their families that need support and help right now as they navigate remote learning.

We need to do more. Denver voters are being asked to approve a new tax that will support teacher salaries, mental-health support and technology — which is important as we continue to build schools responsive to student needs, which is why I am supporting 4A and 4B in this upcoming election. Families need grants to support them as they navigate finding safe child care for essential workers and tutors for students who are falling behind. Families need clear and consistent communication from the district and from their schools. Families need a commitment from this board to be fiscally responsible, and strong leaders who are putting kids and families before their own political agendas.

If you are a family that needs more support during remote learning, I encourage you to check out Transform Education Now (TEN), which supports families as they navigate their students’ learning. You can follow them on Facebook at @TransformEducationnNowCo or go to their website.

Op-Ed: Students and Families Need More Support From Denver SchoolsEXPAND
Courtesy of Amalia Espinoza Ochoa

Amalia Espinoza Ochoa is a Denver Public Schools graduate, Daniels Fund Scholar and Transform Education Now (TEN) teaching fellow. She teaches at KIPP Sunshine Peak Elementary. Read the Spanish version of her op-ed here:

Este año escolar ha sido desafiante para los estudiantes, sus familias y maestros. Mientras todos tratamos de dar gracia y superar los obstáculos que nos esperan, debemos estar dispuestos a adaptarnos y hacer cambios para apoyar a las familias y estudiantes durante las interrupciones del aprendizaje relacionadas con COVID. Como docente, soy consciente de lo desafiante que es el aprendizaje remoto para mis alumnos y sus familias.

Aproximadamente la mitad de mis estudiantes asisten al aprendizaje remoto con regularidad, lo que significa que casi a diario no tengo aproximadamente la mitad de mi clase. Entiendo que la prioridad número uno de las familias en este momento es mantener a sus hijos seguros y saludables durante esta pandemia global y estoy de acuerdo. Vivo con otras 8 personas en mi hogar, algunas de las cuales correrían un gran riesgo si contrajeran este virus mortal. Sé que es probable que trabajemos con el aprendizaje remoto durante el otoño a medida que los casos de COVID continúen aumentando y sé que eso significa que las familias necesitan los recursos para apoyar el aprendizaje de sus estudiantes en el hogar y que necesitamos un liderazgo sólido en las Escuelas Públicas de Denver para ayúdanos a navegar esta crisis.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Estoy muy agradecido por el liderazgo de nuestra superintendente Susana Cordova mientras continúa atravesando algunos de los años más tumultuosos que he visto en DPS: una huelga de maestros, disturbios políticos y ahora, una pandemia. Se siente como si algunos miembros de la Junta de Educación no estuvieran al tanto de lo que las familias están experimentando y de lo que necesitan en este momento. El mes pasado, la Junta aprobó dos resoluciones, una sobre cambios en las políticas escolares de innovación y otra sobre la sindicalización de directores, las cuales no tenían nada que ver con los 93,000 estudiantes y sus familias que necesitan apoyo y ayuda en este momento mientras navegan por el aprendizaje remoto.

Necesitamos hacer más. Se les pide a los votantes de Denver que aprueben un nuevo impuesto que respalde los salarios de los maestros, los apoyos para la salud mental y la tecnología, lo cual es importante a medida que continuamos construyendo escuelas que respondan a las necesidades de los estudiantes, por lo cual apoyó a 4A y 4B en estas próximas elecciones. Las familias necesitan subvenciones para apoyarlas mientras navegan por encontrar cuidado infantil seguro para trabajadores esenciales y tutores para los estudiantes que se están quedando atrás. Las familias necesitan una comunicación clara y constante del distrito y de sus escuelas. Las familias necesitan un compromiso de esta junta para ser líderes fiscalmente responsables y fuertes que están anteponiendo a los niños y las familias a sus propias agendas políticas.

Si su familia necesita más apoyo durante el aprendizaje remoto, le animo a que consulte Transform Education Now (TEN), que apoya a las familias mientras navegan por el aprendizaje de sus estudiantes. Puedes seguirlos en Facebook en @transformeducationnowCo.

Westword often publishes op-eds and essays on issues of interest to the Denver community. Have one you'd like to submit? Send it to editorial@westword.com, where you can also comment on this piece.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.