Our local elementary school, the ones my kids went to for a few years, has been retweeting other nearby elementary schools as they share the numbers of students whose families are opting for in-school or online instruction. The choice, as we’re seeing it right now, is either two days of in-school instruction with other days of online work supporting that OR fully online school.
So far, the results I’m seeing in our area look like about 4 times as many families opting to send their elementary kids to school two days per week versus the full time online option.
I have lots of questions, of course. (I should also note, our own two children, heading into 12th and 8th grades, have opted for in-school instruction and I have said I want to return to school. We’ll see how that goes, but that’s where we are, as a family, right now.)
- Do these families (including my own) truly think this will be safe (as much as that is possible right now) for everyone involved?
- Do these families believe the in-school instruction will be more meaningful than the online version?
- Do these families need childcare? The numbers I’m seeing so far are all from elementary schools.
- Do these families believe it is important for their children to be around their peers and this is, possibly in their minds, the safest way to make that happen?
- Clearly lots of folks haven’t responded with their choices yet. Is that because they are hoping for more information? Or because they can’t decide? Or because they aren’t seeing the request for this choice from the district?
- Is this typical across our district? These schools are mostly middle and upper-class white families and that is not true for many parts of our district.
- Do these families have any kind of plan in their minds for what will happen if (when) we have to move to fully online for everyone again?
I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying, there is no good answer. Our federal government is doing little to nothing to improve that. State and district governments vary widely, I have no doubt. At the moment, I’ll continue sitting with my questions and waiting to see what I learn next.
I know that if I do get to return to room 208, it won’t be anything like this. That breaks my heart a little. I remain hopeful that someday we will get to return to this. For now, I’m preparing as best I can to teach and care for kids in whatever way is available.