As challenging as the question is for parents to answer, it’s a big hurdle for school administrators too as they consider on-campus safety measures, staffing both at-home and on-campus classes and contingency plans in the case of an outbreak. There’s intricacies in plans that administrators have to factor in as well, such as the staggered start and end times at a district’s various campuses to ensure the smoothest operation of bus routes. There are social distancing requirements, sanitizing requirements, and so on.
It’s a headache, as much for parents as it is for school administrators.
Suffice it to say, this school year will be unlike any other before it, regardless of which method a family selects. On-campus students can expect to be distanced from their classmates while wearing masks. Remote learning students will have a far different experience than what they received as Spring Break stretched through the end of the last school year.
Nobody is truly prepared for what this school year will bring, and everyone from the state education department down is essentially “winging it.” Expect missteps — an assignment’s internet link might be temporarily broken or parent drop-off lines may be more crowded and slower than usual — and be patient.
It’s always said that a great public education is reliant on the partnership between parent, student and the school district, and this year will definitely put that to the test. But executed correctly, the solutions to today’s challenges will provide school districts and families the tools they need to solve old problems — who needs a make-up day if an ill student can quickly pivot to a few days of asynchronous learning?
Parent feedback is an important ingredient in making this school year a success. Fill them out and return them, and show our local students what real teamwork can do.