How can three questions decide how school will open safely?

If the adults don’t know then how can we execute the best models to return to school in person then what do we do?

This past week, my district emailed a link to a three question survey for parents to decide for in person or online learning for their kids. What do you do when the adults do not have all the information and the kids don’t either. It is hard whatever way you look at it. Kids miss their friends, and kids who need support due to learning difficulties, need people to help them make friends. This is better addressed in person.

So what do we do? At home we discuss those who are most vulnerable as being a priority. I am talking about the kids that do not have internet access regularly or those whose parents are most affected by the Pandemic. These kids need the constant source of a routine at school to ease pressures. Kids who have disabilities need the structure too. Kids who depend on resources provided by in school staff or services make the list. These are all important categories. But what happens if someone gets Covid in these populations? Is the cure to send them putting them in harm’s way ? Does the general population disagree with this because why should they not be included? These are the conversations we have. I am sure if asked, everyone has a different idea.

Then how about the kids with health issues? Will they miss out on friendship building because they cannot attend school under the conditions of a Pandemic? Teachers too are facing this dilemma for themselves, and for their families. No one wins. How do we track and trace properly? Not all states have the same safety and testing options. For my State getting tested has many different methods. Some insurance covers certain testing, and others well the providers and insurance companies are not 100% sure. It is not as straightforward.

Here is what I do know. People need to stay safe first and foremost. It is going to affect parents and their work, it is going to affect kids full stop, it is going to make the special needs population go into nervous energy overdrive with the choices and the protection measures if they attend school. No one wants to jump out of a plane without a parachute so we have to do the best we can to take a leap of faith and land safely…..somehow.

The adults are still figuring this out. I know I want to be counted at school, but I am not sure how this will look. With a few weeks to go all plans can change and we may not have an in-person option anyway. My brother. who will benefit from being in a classroom does not want to go until the virus is over. My parents are super careful with us and leaving the house for every reason, so he is very nervous about being around people in a closed spaces for long time frames. No one wants to give the virus or get the virus. If we all do our best to follow the rules and recommendations that are asked of us we can keep each other as safe as possible until a vaccine comes along. Masks will be an important tool and trend for the current climate.

I suggest keeping the decisions flowing, things change, information changes and nothing can really be permanent in the learning process for the time being. As long as we all do our best, show up to class in person or online and respect other’s decisions we will be doing our part.

 

Have a great week---Ava