When Will You Feel Comfortable Sending Your Children Back to School?

It is increasingly looking like the powers that be are taking steps, albeit baby steps, to re-open the economy.

The President, reversing himself, has pushed re-opening decisions to the states; the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) recommends a phased return to normalcy.

State-by-State Reopening in Phase II. Individual states can move to Phase II when they are able to safely diagnose, treat, and isolate COVID-19 cases and their contacts. During this phase, schools and businesses can reopen, and much of normal life can begin to resume in a phased approach. However, some physical distancing measures and limitations on gatherings will still need to be in place to prevent transmission from accelerating again.

Governor Cuomo, issued another Executive Order extending PAUSE until at least May 15th, and, coordinating decisions with a multi-state consortium of states (NY. NJ, Conn, RI, Maryland, Delaware).

Denmark is the first European nation to re-open schools, with social distancing in schools and a NY Times article reports trepidation among parents.

Parents have tough decisions.

Should I send my child to an out-of-town college? Take a gap-year? Transfer to a college near home? Colleges and parents are mulling the options  and colleges are preparing for returning to on campus classes as well as continuing remote learning.

School districts across the state are facing dramatic budget reductions. How will your district respond to the reductions? Will class size be increased? Fewer course offerings? Reductions in sports and other after school activities?  In New York City the budgeting process is in full swing. The Mayor outlined cuts in school budgets, the Mayor’s budget must be reconciled with the City Council; the budget must be in place by the end of June. School budgets will be available on April 23rd.

The New York Times points to a disturbing study,

The study projects that students who lack steady instruction during the coronavirus school shutdown might retain only 70 percent of their annual reading gains compared with a normal year. Projections for the so-called Covid slide in math look even bleaker. Depending on grade level, researchers say, students could lose between half and all of the achievement growth one would expect in a normal academic year.

 And goes on to suggest specific policies,

A learning reversal of this magnitude could hobble an entire generation unless state leaders quickly work to reverse the slide. Any reasonable approach would include: diagnostic testing to determine what children know when they return to the classroom; aggressive remedial plans and an expanded school calendar that makes up for lost instructional time;

 Long Island Opt Out, with over 25,000 Facebook followers opposes any addition to the testing regimen.

Let’s not forget that little event on November 3rd, the presidential election. The President is pushing as hard as he can to end re-open the economy.  The scientists worry about moving too quickly and watch a “second wave” of coronavirus “hot spots.”

How do you decide? Possibly a life altering decision for families.

In a year or two we should have a vaccine and more effective treatments as well as the ability to test everyone.

I have no advice; every parent will have to decide for themselves.

4 responses to “When Will You Feel Comfortable Sending Your Children Back to School?

  1. Well, I will certainly look to our King in Chief to see if he sends his young son back to school. If Melania won’t send her only child back to his expensive and crowd controlled private school, I won’t send my children back to their schools either.

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  2. Gloria Brandman

    You say that Long Island Opt Out opposes any addition to the testing regimen and I totally agree. But they are opposed to standardized testing and I’ve seen no reference to their opposition to assessments measuring individual students abilities. Diagnostic testing can be given to students by classroom teachers when they return to the classroom in order to determine skill levels and used to guide lesson and curriculum planning. This is not the same as standardized testing which gives no such information.

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  3. I agree – however, you have to find an off-the-shelf online diagnostic test and an agreement on what you’re “diagnosing” …challenging

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  4. Pingback: How are school leaders planning for September? What guidance can we expect from the Governor, the Regents/Commissioner, and the school district? What decisions will be left to schools? | Ed In The Apple

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