Governor Cuomo: No Decision On Re-Opening Schools
So what's going to happen this school year? Most parents with school-aged children are wondering, are we going to let the kids go back to school, or are they going to continue to have distance learning?
My daughter is going to be a senior this year and our school district sent out a questionnaire on Monday asking parents what they wanted to see happen for the 2020-2021 school year. From answering the questions and looking at how they were phrased it looks like they are leaning toward a combination of in-school and remote learning. Some options included reopening the schools as normal, only remote learning, a combination of remote and in-school learning, and a few options that alternated students in-school by their grade.
One thing that school districts all over New York found out once schools were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic is that not all kids have reliable internet in their home and quite a few don't even have access to a computer. I know for most of us we can't imagine not having internet or a computer, but it's a real issue with remote learning that will need to be addressed before the kids start school this fall. School districts are already buying more laptops and tablets to help meet this demand.
A few school districts in other states have announced their plans and the most popular option seems to be the 2/3 plan. Where some students go to school two days a week and others for three days a week. Then they switch. It reduces the number of kids in the building, making social distancing easier, and giving students a little of both in-school and distance learning.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is childcare for younger students if they are remote learning. Parents will be scrambling to schedule childcare on those days the kids don't go to school.
It's a complicated issue and I'm glad that the Department of Education and the governor are taking their time looking at all the options. Also, waiting to see what other schools do around the country.
In his daily coronavirus update, Governor Cuomo said, “Nobody even knows the effect that this is going to have on students, socialization of young students, et cetera. We want kids back in school for a number of reasons, but we're not going to say children should go back to school until we know it's safe. We have some time.”