Several people emailed, “You are idiots.”
Many wrote, “I will vote you out of office at my first possible opportunity.”
And the one I took most offense to…”You are child haters.”
These emails came on the heels of the school boards reversal of our five-day re-entry plan for the fall 2020 school year and the rejection of the Governor’s state color code for Covid-19 decisions.
I found it interesting that the “anti-return to normal school schedules” emails read more like public health documents, where as those opposed to any modification of the five-day school week were angry and threatening with no attempt to justify their position beyond “my child needs to be in school.” Of course, had the school board stuck to its earlier decision the anti-return folks might have been as vitriolic.
We choose the blended school option, sending kid’s with the last names starting with A through M go Mondays and Tuesdays, N-Z go Thursdays and Fridays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are for cleaning. Since a quarter to a third of our students are virtual, that means that all classrooms will have only 10-12 students at any given time. Teachers can manage social distancing, enforce mask wearing, and teach consistent groups of students. Students will have the same teachers and classmates, have the ability to interact socially at least two days per week and will know their schedules for the entire fall semester.
Getting to green. The Code Green is a minimum of two weeks of no new cases of COVID-19 and will allow, if approved by the superintendent, students to return to school for four to five days per week. Green will not happen if the community doesn’t participate fully in reducing the spread of the virus. Parents and students alike have to take the responsibility for following the guidelines for mitigating the virus. They have to wear masks correctly, social distance, avoid large gatherings, and stay away from visiting virus hot spots.
Ultimately, nature is in charge, but we don’t have to throw up our hands and do nothing! We can fight the virus, we can support policies that put human life first, and we can use our inestimable talents to mitigate the educational and economic consequences of the pandemic.
I don’t want to lose a generation or more of children to the lack of good education. I don’t want to exposed children to unsafe home environments. I want us to get to green, stay there and move forward.
This virus will be vanquished and we need a strong school district ready when it does.