With people going back to work, and August just one day away, conversations on whether or not schools will be back “business as usual” has everyone debating what is the “safest” way to do it.
Being that this has never been done before, and has never been experienced to this level before, this is all an experiment and sadly children are now at the frontline of it all.
In New York City, schools closed in March when cases were below 500 confirmed. As the days continued, NYC became the epicenter for the virus keeping schools remote for the rest of the school year.
As of June, we have seen the virus spread across the USA and effect more and more people, and it has not gone away.
States have began to go through the re-opening phases , and people are going back to work which adds more pressure for schools to reopen, but is it safe?
To add on to that, schools that are choosing to have an in-person model for the upcoming school year are choosing a hybrid/blended learning model, where students are in school 2-3 days a week alternating between in person and remote instruction.
How helpful is it to working parents to basically only have their child going to school part time? Who actually works 2 days a week?
Unfortunately, not every parent has the option to have their child stay at home full time and do remote or just attend school two days a week. Which means now they have to send their child in to school regardless and see what will happen.
Now back to the original question: Are schools ready to reopen?
-Class sizes have been cut to 6 – 12 students per classroom depending on the size of the classroom.
-Students must stay 6 feet apart at all times.
-Students must wear masks at all times.
–Students must stay within their same “cohort” of classmates to eliminate exposure to the virus
-Gym and physical activities will not be in affect because of the risk of transmission.
-Classrooms have to be sanitized daily.
-Classroom must have windows open or proper ventilation systems.
-Teachers and students have to be tested regularly.
-Temperature checks need to be done daily.
-If you are sick, you have to stay home.
The list goes on. With the economy in shambles, budget cuts across the education system have occurred to the point where many teachers and other important staff have been laid off. Janitors have even expressed their concerns on how they aren’t even sure how all the nightly cleanings would get done if their hours have well have been cut and others laid off.
While this virus is still spiraling across the country, there is pressure to go back to normalcy. Trust me we all want our livelihood back, but to what cost does that come?
Let’s give parents the comfortability to feel like they could stay home with their child, and not force them into sending them because they know they could never afford it. A stimulus package should be introduced to parents and caregivers that have no other option for child care because even if they do send their child back to school it will only be 2-3 days of week with so many added limitations which means that on days children are not attending school in person they would need to find a caregiver to look after them.
As the days approaching closer to the beginning of the school year get closer, everyone just hopes and pray that those in charge are taking the health of the children and staff seriously. Its not “if they get the virus” its “when they get the virus” this is what will happen.
This is not the narrative I want to hear and whether or not someone life ends at the cause of contracting the virus is a game of chance because no infection is the same, no symptoms are the same, and everyone is still learning about the reality of the lifelong consequences of contracting this virus could mean.
While safety of all people entering the buildings seems to be the slogan, the actions and lax of it all doesn’t sit well with many people across the country.
What are you thoughts on schools reopening? How is your local community planning to reopen? Share down below.