Schools Could Offer an Online Option
There will be a small percentage of parents that will refuse to send their kids to school and these parents will try and ruin it for everyone. We need to provide parents and students with choices and not a classroom where "one size fits all".
I keep hearing parents talk about the "new normal" and asking what is school going to look like in the Fall? I frankly don't think school should look any different for students in the classroom. However, there could be an online option for kids who don't feel comfortable at school.
There have been studies that show kids don't pass the virus on to adults. There have been almost zero cases of Covid-19 among young students and there is zero proof that any kids are passing this on to adults.
If parents are freaked out about their kids getting the virus at school then maybe there should be an online option. Most parents I speak with (apolitical) want their kids to be in a normal classroom setting in the Fall.
The risks are far greater of kids developing learning and social disabilities spending too much time on the computer and not interacting with other kids and adults. I have heard from several parents of kids with ADHD that online school is hurting their kids learning ability. Kids need to interact and be social because its just what living life is about.
Life is full of choices and risks. Walking across the street is a risk and riding your bike to school is a risk. Sending your kids to school is not a risk in my view. Yes, kids are going to get sick and this is part of life that you are not going to change. However, having an online school option will be a huge benefit so they don't just sit at home being sick and fall behind.
Many schools recently spent hundreds of thousands of dollars constructing security fences around perimeters and installed active shoot emergency plans. This to me is a much higher risk than sending your kids to school who might get a virus that will have almost no harm to kids.
I also don't think social distancing in the school should be made an issue either. There is no point shrinking classroom sizes or sending kids to school on random days or odd hours to keep the class sizes smaller.
I am not in favor of requiring masks for many reasons as doctors say that wearing a mask too long weakens immune systems and you can't breath properly. This photo below of a Chinese classroom is frightening and in now way do I want our kids going to school in a Communist like environment.
Having proper ventilation in a classroom is more important than having face masks or face shields. I think our school boards need to focus on one thing only to open schools. Ventilation of classrooms. I don’t think a lot needs to change other than opening windows and doors for fresh air circulation will help a lot with spreading anything.
Teachers are the one road block in this discussion if they want to come to school or want to provide an additional online environment. There are many older teachers that probably could retire as a result of this virus and there are plenty of younger teachers willing to step in.
Teachers unions are a complicated animal also that will likely want to block anything that creates more work or bureaucracy. If teachers unions were to strike over the additional work or requirement to provide an online classroom alongside their normal classroom that wouldn't look very good right now. School boards need to act now so teachers can prepare for providing an online environment.
Having an online option for kids would not be that hard. I would imagine the average school might have 10-20% of kids who might want to do an online only school. If a child has a pre-existing condition or medical risk they can stay at home. A separate classroom or teacher could be dedicated to these kids through the public school system. This way it would not disrupt the learning environment of kids in a classroom and the teachers would not be distracted with tech support.
There are lots of tools that are very easy to use like Zoom, GoToMeeting and Google Meet where students can interact with the classroom. Google Classroom also provides an online environment of sharing work and taking tests.
School boards are going to have to take charge and get their teachers and unions organized now. They cannot politicize this virus and start redesigning the school system as a result of this crisis. Herd immunity might be coming soon and it is questionable if a vaccine will ever be ready and even effective.
The history of vaccines also shows that Government policies based around mandating vaccines are political. Mandating kids get vaccines to attend school would be a massive mistake and would create a war among parents.
I am also not in favor of testing kids or taking temperatures of kids entering the school either. There is simply not enough data to support that kids have any greater risk getting the virus. Imposing regulations on how kids are sent to school is a very slippery slope of regulation.
A friend of mine read this and suggested that I need to go live in a "red state" if I want my kids to go back to school. Hopefully he is wrong but it does concern me that opening of American has become political and only the red states are opening now and the blue states are way behind as of May.
I think there are going to be lots of class action lawsuits on this issue organizing if blue states don't get their acts together and provide some clarity on their plans. I could even see a scenario where the Federal Government might have to step in an mandate legislation to open.