July 3, 2020 10:10:36 AM
Raises questions about sending children to school during pandemic
Should schools risk children's health by starting the school year in class during a time when the cases and infection rate of Covid-19 is at its highest in the state and around the U.S.? I do understand and agree that learning is at its best in the classroom. Not only that, but it gives children occasions to socialize, connect with friends and teachers, and provides structure and discipline. Nothing can compare with in-class learning to facilitate cognitive and psychological development and educational preparedness.
With the obvious being stated, let us talk about the issue at hand: Covid-19. There is so much about this virus that is unknown. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other worldwide health agencies are still trying to understand the behavior of this virus and its effects. There have been outbreaks in bars, beaches, restaurants, manufacturing facilities and other outlets. These outbreaks came even after restriction guidelines were put in place.
Why should we think that school gatherings will be any different? Why are we putting our kids in harms way when we know it's not the matter of if, but when? I would love to send my child off to school every day, but I just don't believe it is safe enough. Being safe is less stressful than being sorry. With the shortages of testing, you don't know which child is a carrier. Teachers are going to be stretched with even more responsibilities of trying to enforce social distancing among their friends (good luck with that), hand washing, mask wearing, as a former substitute teacher, it is going to be a challenge.
Other questions and concerns are: Will every teacher, student, staff be scanned on a daily basis? How high does the temp have to be before you recommend that student stays at home? Will every child have a on a mask? Will the school provide masks? If there is a student who tests positive, will every parent be contacted immediately, and will every student in that class have to be quarantined?
I would hope that the school board allows parents options for sending their children back to school. For those parents who feel comfortable sending their kids to school, then let them go. But for those parents who are not comfortable, or have underlying health conditions, have opportunity to continue online and/or virtual learning.
This would be a good solution for crowded busing, crowded classrooms per teacher, cafeteria, and overall crowding in the hallways. God forbid, but if there is an outbreak, casualties in quarantine will be at a minimum if some students are learning remotely.
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