Monday, September 7, 2020

Back to School in the Midst of Covid

Happy Labor Day!

Today is the day before our school year begins. As both a mom and a physician, I've been pondering a lot about the challenging endeavor to best educate the kids this fall. There are many blogs and articles about this out there so I don't want to rehash everything, but the main questions being asked include...

  • Is it important for children's mental health to interact in person with peers? yes
  • Is it important to prevent the spread of Covid19 to protect the health of teachers and family members who may be more at risk?  yes
  • Is it important to provide the resources for all children to have access to learning? yes
  • Is it important to be sensitive to one another's fears and feelings and to be respectful, forgiving, and gracious? yes

The bottom line is that the rate of infection varies from state to state and even region to region here in the United States. Therefore, the decisions of how to do school are being made by local government and educators taking into account those basic questions and I'm sure many more. 

In our particular region, the numbers are currently low. Although we want to do everything to prevent those numbers from spiking back up to where they were in the spring, we also want to balance the benefits that would come from in-person learning to students and families. As a sort of compromise, our district is offering a choice for families to pick either 100% virtual learning or a hybrid model where two of the five days would be in person with social distancing measures in place. Again, not to rehash what all those measures are and the reasonings for them... I do want to give credit for the decision-makers because this is no easy task. No matter the final decision, there is sure to be those unhappy with the outcome.

We are promised that the model for virtual learning this fall will look different than it did in the spring. Well, we shall see.

So whether a family is choosing to go with the public school system with 100% virtual vs hybrid model or 100% in-person at a private school or 100% home school...  "Happy Back to School"!