Schooling & Pandemic

When it comes to whether to “send your child to school” or “not to send your child to school” this upcoming school year, uncertainty is certain. There are parents on both sides of the issue and for varying reasons. There are educators and educational staff that are on varying sides of the issue, too.

Bigger questions lie in the ‘logistics’ and the ‘how’. Uncertainty reigns within these domains regardless of one’s position. The questions that arise across ‘logistics/how’ range from quality of educational delivery, to parental angst and don’t-want-to/can’t teach own kids, to concerned about falling ill to the point of death. While many cite stats and report “it is not that bad” or “it is not that serious”, no parent desires to sacrifice their child to “be in the number” of those who do fall ill and than deal with the increased challenges of quarantining a minor; or worse, losing their child to death.

One party that has not been mentioned as much and is a massive stakeholder in the to-go/not-to-go debate are employers. Employers have a significant amount of power in this parental decision. Many employers have made significant adjustments to ensure they keep skilled laborers through the creation of virtual and work from home platforms. However, many employers have not made these adjustments and there are a number of jobs that require physical presence.

Additionally, being creative and innovative about the schooling/parental-work schedule needs to be addressed too. The current system of work/schooling is still rooted in two basic systems: the traditional farming schedule and the traditional factory schedule. There are alternatives to both of these. However, are parents, schools, communities, and employers ready, willing, and able to pivot and explore innovation around other scheduling options?

There is no silver bullet. There is no “we just need to” package. The needs of rural, suburban, and urban school districts, and families are as diverse as the populations themselves. Parents, schools, employers, and communities should identify what they can realistically do and execute accordingly.

One way to frame this is through readiness, willingness, and ability. How ready are you, your child’s school, your community for to-go/not-to-go? How willing are you, your child’s school, your community for to-go/not-to-go? What is your, your child’s ability, your communities ability for to-go/not-to-go?

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