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Which version of schooling should we sign up for this year?

“What kind of schooling should we sign up for” is a huge question being asked in every household with children this year. The Covid-19 Crisis has put the entire planet on hold. The more people talk about how the crisis is impacting them, the more ways I have learned that I couldn’t even come up with to even consider as an impact. 

When talking to a colleague last week, she asked me what I was going to do with my children. Her daughter is out of school so it has been some time since she had a child in grade school. I told her the options presented in our district and what other districts were proposing.  In my area, the district solutions were online-only, regular building instruction, or a hybrid solution depending on the grade. The last option was offered to older students. This week a larger school district in the area who is the largest in our state on Monday stated going to start school several weeks later for online, hybrid, and brick and mortar. There was discussion that if you were to go brick and mortar you would go only half a week. So students with a certain set of last names will go to the building on Monday and Wednesday while the other students would go on Tuesday and Thursday. Then on Wednesday of this week, the school district stated it was going completely virtual for the first 9 weeks. 

As I am telling my friend what the options are we started discussing how the options impact different people. How much time does a student need their parent to guide them through classes? What if you have multiple children, how would you help each of them? Then we have people who are working. I shared how my neighbors are all working from home. Their children are going into Pre Kindergarten and 1st grade. Even though they are working from home, their work requires them to be tracked on their computer based on how many clicks they make.  So it’s not like they can sit and do their job AND doing their young children’s schooling.  We talked about children from a neglectful or abusive home who depend on the schools for food.

Then other issues came up like people who are adopting or who have medical procedure needs. I have several friends in my life who could not complete their adoption because the courts were closed. 

Such a basic yet fundamental question led to a deep conversation about all the different ways people are being impacted by the virus. We came to the conclusion that the best we can do is support each other in whatever way is best for them. This is not the time for more divide, it is a time of inclusion and support. 

I ended up choosing traditional schooling for now. Only time will tell how long we can get this small glimpse of normal.