With August quickly approaching, the topic of school starting is on every parent’s mind.
I know my family doesn’t want to repeat the mess of online learning we endured less than two months ago, but is it really fair to ask the teachers, school staff and administrators to go back to work in a potentially dangerous environment? Is learning biology more important than the life of a school math teacher or bus driver?
I don’t have the answers and I certainly don’t envy the school or government leaders who have to make those decisions. All I can do is read the news and decide what is right for my family.
Currently, I plan to send my kids back to school. I may change my mind next week or next month. Not because I am fickle or undecided, but because I don’t know what COVID will look like in the future.
I am under no illusion that school will carry on like it did last fall. If my kids can attend in-person school, they will be there. If schools require masks, social distancing, and reduced days or hours, we will adhere to those guidelines. If the safety protocols don’t keep COVID at bay and students have to learn from home, we will adjust to that, too.
I expect there to be closures early on. I also expect my kids will be back to some form of online schooling before October. It is not what I want, but then again, I don’t want COVID either. I don’t want this pandemic at all. But I can’t control what I can’t control.
My kids may not be learning what elementary, middle and high school kids have learned in the past, but they are learning what it means to survive during a pandemic and economic downturn.
They are learning about virus transmission, potential herd immunity and economics. They are reading the news.