Do the people in charge of our schools know all they need to know about the transmittal of COVID-19? Our local paper stated that our children’s high school now has a case of COVID-19. An email was shared earlier that day by some students on social media about the outbreak, which soon followed an article in our local newspaper. So far, at least four cities in our county have cases of COVID-19 in their schools.
The schools are not closing down. They are still open, and one city saw their teachers file a lawsuit due to unsafe environments. It is risky to keep these schools open and more students come down with COVID-19. Where is the guidance? I keep reading about the districts talking about their so-called plans.
However, so far, I do not see a plan that prevents a spread. Sure, it helps that some children are remote. However, what happens to the children that go to school in those classrooms? Even if they social distance, how will the teacher not get sick? At the end of the day, people are not staying 6 feet away from each other when you have a school with so many students. From some of the comments I have seen from the school officials, I have to wonder if they know what they are doing. I would wager that many do not understand how COVID-19 spreads. I blame this on the CDC. The CDC has been very inconsistent with news regarding the prevention of COVID-19.
Just last week, they stated that asymptomatic people could spread COVID-19. When I took the COVID-19 class five months ago; it talked about the 2 days before symptoms started to appear. At that time, people were able to get sick and pass COVID-19 to others before any symptoms started. So, to see that these schools are not closing with cases of COVID does worry me.
Are we inadvertently preventing things from getting back to normal because we are trying to force normal out of an abnormal situation?
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Last week was the first week of school for our children
in Bell County. It was brought to my attention by my husband, who works with a parent from Belton ISD, that Belton has a case of COVID-19 in their school. The parents were sent an email about the spread. As of today, the incident hasn’t been in the news. I informed one of my children’s teachers about the case. She informed me that some of the teachers at my children’s school are not being updated properly. At a time when transparency is important, people are being strategic in their reporting.
This is the reason why my children are remote learners. I strongly fear the information coming out of the school system will be somewhat misleading due to reporting issues. How are parents supposed to make educated decisions on the future of education when schools are not properly updating information? Take the Belton situation, for example, if my husband’s co-worker has to quarantine, the families involved will not just be limited to Belton, it will also be Temple and Killeen.
At this time, I am calling for a clear understanding of COVID-19 numbers in the schools. Our teachers and students deserve the best information without weeks of delays. If neighboring districts fall victim to outbreaks of COVID-19, it should be imperative that the information is shared between close school districts. All it takes is one case to infect multiple people from different cities within one county.
My husband and I have a rule when it comes to explaining coursework to our children. The general rule of thumb is that I help with anything that isn’t math-related! When I was in college, I took math classes that would pretty much ensure the completion of my degrees, and when it came to math, I would take the lesser of the evils.
He, on the other hand, would take high-level math courses, but I put him to shame with my many science classes. So, here we are explaining the academics that we learned in college to our children to help them build better understandings of their coursework.
I guess it might be considered the uncovered gem in remote learning. While the teachers do a great job preparing and sending the information for the children, it doesn’t necessarily come with the same level of understanding that they would get in a classroom. So, at the end of the day, we find ourselves having to explain new vocabulary and other questions.
We also get those random questions that stink of information that belongs in unread paragraphs, and when we come across those, we simply inform our children to go back to their initial readings!!! Helping is one thing, but doing their work is not an option!
We are coming to the end of the second month of school closings. As we approach the months ahead I think it is important for us as parents to talk to our children about their feelings and their anxiety over missing out on special events. Many of these milestones are once in a lifetime events which some will never get a chance to make up. Many of our children have had to say goodbye to relationships, trips , visits to their favorite teacher’s rooms and some have seen their prom preparations go up in flames.
In my own children I can see an uneasiness that I haven’t seen before. My 18 year old talked about going to college all the time before COVID-19 took place. We found out that our Alma mater is offering classes to high school sophomores and up for 90 dollars per credit. One of the classes is Introduction to Sociology and there are a couple of other classes. We were excited because this was something our daughter had been talking about for almost a year. When we presented her with the idea, she had a mini freak out session. She didn’t want to go to college online and it didn’t stop there. She continued to explain if she could not go to school inside the classroom,then she wouldn’t attend college at all.
My first thought was to insist that she would be enrolled in one of the classes, but then I started thinking about something. Right now her entire life has been turned inside out. While we are talking about college classes, she is still getting used to doing her high school classes online. I think we were wrong to press the conversation at this point because it brings a sense of long term changes that these children are not ready to deal with. It’s one thing to tell our children you cannot go back for the rest of the school year, but it is something else to tell them that their college dreams have been placed on hold for who knows how long. At any rate, I’m trying to be more thoughtful about her feelings and her fears.
Right now there are a number of adults freaking out about not being able to go out and get perms, nail jobs, or have happy hour with their pals. I would ask them to look to the plight of the young person today. It is a unknown road with unspoken fears. While many of us talk about the things we miss, we are at least in a position to get those memories back. Some of our children will never get to embrace the very events that helped to shape our school year experiences. The key word for this week in understanding. Understand that our children are dealing with the same situation we find ourselves in, but they do not have our knowledge of recovery. Have a happy week and be strong.