The state of Massachusetts has declared that all K-5 students are to return to school in person five days a week starting April 5.
They also stated that middle school would return to school in person five days a week starting April 28. Which makes no sense, since that is a Wednesday. But this is Massachusetts.
The state also said that the return to school for high school students would be TBD. But not for my school district.
Our district’s superintendent took it upon himself to declare that middle school and high school students would be returning to full in person learning on April 26. Well, at least it’s a Monday.
Although they are no longer allowing the hybrid option (which we personally never opted for), they are still offering the remote option. Which is a good thing for us. For personal medical reasons that have to do with my daughter, which I will not discuss here.
So we had to fill out a survey and tell them why we wanted to remain remote. I was very thorough in my explanation. Mainly because with what is going on medically with my daughter, I highly doubt they would want her in their school right now, until the medical situation gets rectified. When that will be, who knows. Because it’s complicated. And not easily rectified. Keep in mind many members of my daughter’s high school are aware of the situation.
And I’m glad that they are still offering a completely remote option. I think they know they have to. Remote is here to stay in one form or another. Because if one kid gets sick and cannot be in school, are you going to not allow them to learn?
So tonight we had a school meeting to go over the details. And some of the details are bothersome.
One is lunch. Right now lunch is held in the student’s third class and they sit in their individual seats with a cardboard frame around them. When they return to school they are planning to have lunch in the gym or outdoors (apparently they have forgotten what spring in New England can be like) and they state that it “will be socially distanced, but fun and social”. Um, if it’s going to be socially distanced, how is it going to be social? Not that I care because my kid won’t be there. Not that she’d socialize anyway if she were. But I’m just saying.
But it was the final line of the “what will change” section of the meeting that got me:
The teachers will now focus on their in person classes rather than dividing their attention or focusing on zoom. The remote students will be able to complete their assignments and ask questions, but they will not be the focus of instruction.
Hold. It. Right. There. Are you telling me that because my child, who has to remain remote due to a health reason, is going to be penalized? Because that is wrong. Every single student, whether remote or not, should be the focus of instruction. Not just the ones in school. You may as well tell me that all remote students will simply be ignored. It is bothersome because I’m concerned there’s going to be a teacher who either “forgets” or refuses to click on the zoom link so my daughter, and any other remote student, may participate in class. Because they are not the focus of instruction. Because they are not physically there. They don’t count.
Yes it would be easy to tell the school we’ll send her for in person lessons. But I would love to ask them if they’re going to be willing to deal with her health issues all day long. Although I’ve explained the situation to them, they have no idea what it’s really like because they don’t live it. As it is I’m unsure where we will be when the next school year begins. If we are still where we are now, the school will have their work cut out for them.