To the uninformed person (and those who may have agreed) who wrote about abandoning the school buildings in favor of online school:

This column in the Weekly Mailer made my blood boil. This person is clueless...the majority of the students are not thriving with online teaching. Many students are struggling. Teachers are not even able to present and teach 1/2 of what they would in a classroom. The work is being simplified, if some students are doing well, it could be because much of the work has been simplified. Hands on teaching has been eliminated. My son looked forward with great anticipation to taking physics this year, most of the hands on projects come in the last 9 weeks of school when they get to apply all they have learned, he was unable to do any of those projects he was looking forward to all year. This is just one example of thousands for kids throughout the district who have missed opportunities that only come from hands on projects, working with other students. 

This person wants to throw band, choir, cooking, ag, welding, animal science, auto mechanics, residential building, CAD, CNA, EMT classes out the door. We haven't even gotten to the special education services the federal government mandates schools provide. 

This person thinks that families who have one child or multiple children in various grades will be able to work and educate their children. Parents who work would be putting their children in daycare and trying to teach an entire days work in a couple hours after they get home from work. In reality, I think this person has zero clue about educating students, and how students best are educated. We haven't even gotten to the importance of all of the social skills children develop, and taken into account how friendships and socializing bolster mental health. 

This person is okay with keeping buildings available for athletics, buildings that won’t be maintained because all maintenance staff would be let go....without PE, where will these students acquire the skills to be in sports. Sports played on fields that aren't mowed, fields that aren't fertilized or watered, basketballs gyms and wrestling rooms that aren’t cleaned, because all those staff members have been laid off. 

This person simplified education...what about all those students who rely on the free lunch program? Or the students who rely on the school district for testing and help for speech, dyslexia, hearing, or behavior issues? No more scholarships to college for music or drama...or ag...or food valedictorians either. 

Oh...and lets not forget...great schools are a large factor in drawing in new businesses. Eliminate schools and we will lose businesses. But that's ok...our children won't be receiving the quality education necessary to be employable.

Cassia Joint School district teachers, and Minidoka School Distirct employees as well, have been amazing throughout this crisis and have done the best they can, but there is so much more that can be taught in a classroom rather than through videos and paper packets. Please don't insult our hardworking teachers, paras,  administrators, groundskeepers, custodians, food service and bus drivers. I salute and give thanks to all the educators and staff in our school districts, both Cassia and Minidoka. My own four children have all received quality education from some amazing teachers from K-12. 

I proudly sign my name in support of common sense and in support of every educator in this community. 

Sharma Worthen Anderson

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