How do we handle the school reopening for the 20-21 school year? That is the question on everyone’s mind, and the subject of great debate as districts across the country are coming up with plans for what to do next. The truth is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Each district has to take in to consideration the Covid status in their area, as well as their resources and a variety of other concerns. Here in Pasco, our district led by Kurt Browning has come up with the disappointing plan of delaying the start of the school year by two weeks and providing three options for how students will ‘attend’ school.
Providing multiple options for learning is not a bad move but delaying the start of the year serves no real purpose. What does it achieve? What are we doing over those two weeks? As a teacher, I can tell you that we are not getting extra training or resources to handle the changing landscape.
Teachers across the county are fearful of the prospects of opening brick-and-mortar schools. The foundation of this fear comes from a lack of information and preparation coming from the district and their own schools. This lack of information makes it seem as though the district was unprepared for what might happen. Considering the district moved to e-school in the middle of March, it is unacceptable to think that plans were not being made right away. Of course, things change, and contingencies would be needed, but there should have been a plan providing direction and giving ample time to procure supplies like PPE and providing other resources such as computer.
At this point, it appears clear that schools will open on August 24th. Who will be attending? Who will be working? For a lot of staff, this information is still unknown. This should worry parents who feel the need to send their students back to the classroom. As parents, we deserve to know what ‘the new normal’ means for classrooms. What will class sizes look like? What are changes to cleaning procedures? Will buses run as normal and can they effectively social distance. Many employees will be tasked with responsibilities they may not have had to deal with in the past. Will they have the training and resources needed to do their jobs effectively and keep everyone safe?
I encourage every parent to get involved. Write to local and state leaders to make your voice heard. Join local groups that are organizing to protest or seek alternatives. If you will be sending your child to brick-and-mortar, request information about policy and procedures. Preparation is the key to success.
Posted on 02 Aug 2020, 13:13 - Category: Education First