Back to school or not back to school, that is the question. As the Fall semester quickly approaches many parents, teachers, and school districts are pressed with the question of whether to send children back to school and whether that choice is safe to answer yes to.
Why We Should NOT Send Kids Back To School
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic’s start during the spring semester, schools shut down and shifted to an online learning environment to avoid spreading the virus to more people. This reason has only grown stronger since March as the United States still exceeds 50,000 new cases per day and peaked at over 75,000 cases in late July.
Sending kids back to school could result in another explosion of cases as kids being in proximity could expose each other to the virus and then in turn bring it to their teachers and parents. Continuing the spread of the coronavirus and extending the pandemic could continue the negative impacts that it has had on the economy, and the longer the pandemic continues the longer the safety of everyday life will be in jeopardy.
Why We Should Send Kids Back To School
On the other hand, there is a case to be made for sending kids back to school for the Fall semester. The biggest component of the argument is that online learning is not flawless, especially with younger children. It will require parents to monitor them as they complete their work, and this is not realistic for parents who cannot work from home. Younger children also miss out on the crucial development of emotional and social skills by not going to school in-person. Making sure that students with special needs are accommodated for their specific learning needs is also much more difficult in remote learning environments. Parents who have occupations where it is not possible to work from home, such as mechanics and other blue-collar workers, cannot leave their children at home alone while they work for 8-10 hours a day.
Along with these concerns of development and accommodation, there is also scientific evidence that suggests that children are much less likely to have severe symptoms and die from the disease. However, there has been a surge in cases among children recently which raises concerns around opening schools.
If Schools Reopen
If schools reopen in the Fall it is important to teach children about how to avoid getting sick and school districts will have to make sure that systems are put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. With evidence to support either side of this issue the choice surrounding sending kids back to school remains unclear.
What Do You Think?
Do you think that kids should be sent back to school this Fall semester or should online learning continue?