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Returning to School: It’s Not Political, It’s Personal

sometimes we learn in our best swim gear

Look, I’m not going to blow you away with some brand new stats that will revolutionize the way parents decide what their kids will do in the Fall. I will tell you the phrase I do want to keep shouting at the top of my lungs: this is NOT political, it is 100% PERSONAL. The people who will be putting themselves or their loved ones in potential danger – those are the people that we need to hear from and learn from right now. The teachers who spend every day in a classroom full of 5th graders who will have more questions than they have answers. The school aids who have to travel from room to room or interact with kids from multiple grade levels who will be trying to make days as “normal” as possible for the kids. The moms and dads who, as I type this, are deciding what is the best choice for their family and hoping on everything they have that it isn’t the wrong choice. I can only speak for my family – but there doesn’t seem to be a right choice …. does there?

we miss our friends

Right now many families are getting notified by their schools about what their options are for Fall 2020. Some schools are choosing for the families, and letting them know they are going back to virtual learning until Labor Day (or later). For some families this was a blessing in disguise, someone else made the decision for them and now they are setting up their plans. For other families, this is a nightmare. They may have two working parents who don’t have employers willing or able to let them work remotely. Maybe school is where the kids go for both education and for before/after care while mom and dad earn a living. This option could also potentially put all of that areas families into a day camp (example: YMCA) which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t be much different than the school environment from a health and safety perspective. Just proving that there is two sides to each option – and none work for everyone.

I wish I could end this piece with a perfectly thought out plan of what we are doing for the Fall, but if I’m being honest, we still haven’t decided. Our PreK is going back to in person instruction, but we haven’t decided if it’s the right time to join & thankfully have until late August to make that call. Our middle school and high school are going back in person as well, but offering virtual learning for those that want it for their kids. For this decision we are trying our best to let our kids have a say in what their path is for Fall. Right now? They are split just like us. They are understanding more and more about the unknowns we are facing, but they are still kids and want nothing more than to be with all of their friends – no matter what that looks like. So to close, I’ll ask anyone reading this to remember – if someone tells you their plan, your only job is to smile at them and say “I know that was a really tough decision to make, and I’m proud of for doing what is best for your family.”