Now that your children's school has reopened for the academic year 2020-2021, a major challenge is hopefully out of the way. The planning alone for the reopening of school was arduous and time-consuming. Your school's administrative team spent countless hours over the late spring and summer planning how to reopen the school safely. To understand how complex the variables involved were in their discussions and deliberations, think about working a jigsaw puzzle with an impressionist picture in shades of blue and gray. Those variables included federal, state, and local guidelines involving just about everything you can imagine. Like all the rest of the parents, I know that you wondered whether the school could reopen at all. But it did. While things certainly are different from past years, a private school education's essential hallmarks are in place for all to see: a safe community and high-quality teaching.
Now, let's look at how you can help the school out during these unprecedented times.
Listen to your school's instructions.
This admonition is important because you may well hear conflicting advice and news on social media or television. For example, when somebody retweets a claim about wearing masks not being effective, follow your school's guidance. A private school community includes a wide range of age groups. Some members of the community are more exposed to the COVID-19 virus than others. The same thing applies to gathering in groups and maintaining social distancing. Don't plan a birthday or other celebration with friends and family to celebrate in
The amount of confusion over school reopenings in fall 2020 has been astounding. The general public and parents hear and read information that is confusing at best or incomplete at worst. I read several news sources extensively every day to find out what's actually going on. This article aims to show you where to look for information about school reopening protocols, school reopening communications, schools that have closed, and schools with COVID-19 cases, among other COVID-19 related issues. The best source of COVID-19 information in a specific school is always a school's website, where generally you will find communications from the school to current families.
This video explains the CDC guidance for school reopening.
What becomes evident as you read your school's communications is that a tremendous amount of work and effort has gone into creating and implementing safety protocols to protect everybody in the school community. Everybody means the maintenance staff through to the head of school. Here are some of the items you should look for in
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. I am a concerned parent and grandparent. This article draws attention to some of the questions I have about sending my grandchildren to school. ~Rob Kennedy
Getting your child ready for school in the summer of 2020 is a nerve-wracking experience for parents. We have always been concerned about our children's safety both at school and at home. We have taught safe behaviors since they were tiny tots. Suddenly, all those familiar scenarios seem so benign and distant. This COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything you and I have seen in our lifetimes. The virus seems to attack people of all ages. It seems to lurk in hosts and find new hosts via droplets that hang in the air. It lives on common surfaces such as doorknobs and stair railings. It spreads to its new host when he touches his face. Worst of all, there's no vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. Scientists are scrambling to create vaccines, but it doesn't look as though anything will be available before early 2021.
I have listened to
Teachers and parents are concerned about the teaching that will take place post-pandemic. I have tried to cover their concerns in the following set of questions and answers.
Question: What happened in March 2020?
Answer: It was as though somebody turned off the power. One day, public and private school teachers were teaching in-person in classrooms. The next day they were teaching online.
Question: Was there any warning?
Answer: Very little. The decision to close schools was made on a state-by-state basis by the governors.
Question: When will schools reopen?
The COVID-19 closed schools nationwide in the spring of 2020. One day schools were open. The next day they were closed indefinitely as state governors issues stay at home orders. Then schools scrambled to replace familiar face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning. Sports and extracurricular activities became distant memories. Plans for summer school and camps went out the window. Graduations, end of year traditions such as school plays and assemblies are virtual occasions in 2020. It's all so different, so scary, and so unsettling. Yet, you and I know that life must go on.
Dr. Reinhold Niehbur's Serenity Prayer comes to mind as a spiritual anchor for these troubled times:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.