With Covid, there seems to be so much uncertainty and new waters that it has become apparent that there is no right way to do anything because nobody seems to know what the right thing to do is.
However, I am always a fan of being told the full and honest story upfront. That way, it’s easier to understand and accept the situation. If I’m left to my own imagination, the results may not be so understanding. They may be more judgmental.
Case in point… when a school district comes out with an announcement that they will be offering an option of in-person or online education this coming fall, and then takes it away by changing it to strictly online (to start the school year), some may feel confused and wronged.
For the importance of the situation, any announcement in regard to the plans for the school year should be fully honest and disclose all the details for the parents. We are dealing with people who have two income homes, children with special needs, children with very specific learning styles that can’t be taught by parents, and so much more. The message would be better received if it was fully upfront from the get go.
Throwing out a detailed plan for what the in-person option would look like and what the online option would look like, only to take it away has many wondering why all the time and effort was spent on that in the first place. And, you had many feeling relieved that they had a choice. Take that away and many are more hurt than if the option was never there in the first place.
So, now there are literally groups of angry parents forming who are ready to fight the latest announcement of all online for their district to at least open the 2020/2021 school year. Most likely because of their situation, and because they have not heard the whole truth.
The truth may or may not include important factors such as…
- not having enough money or even enough cleaning supplies to make schools a safe environment for the children
- not being able to figure out PPE
- busing – how two kids to a seat works and how many more buses are needed
- difficulty getting bus drivers
- not having enough money for custodial staff
- being unable to guarantee that kids will actually stay six feet apart
- what to do about teachers who are medically compromised or exhibit risk factors (older, pre-existing conditions)
- not having any protocol/instructions handed down from the Health Department on what happens if a child gets Covid – what they are to do with the other children in that class and affected teachers?
If these are the issues, they should all be explained up front to help everyone understand the reasoning behind the decisions being made but I’m not seeing this when I visit most of the local Oakland County school district websites. No one wants decisions to be made hastily, but it’s getting late in the game and, as stated, parents need to know.
I’ve seen some people willing to help. Maybe if people knew of the obstacles, not only would there be a better understanding, but maybe people would step forward to form committees to resolve some of the concerns or offer to lend a hand in some way. You’d be surprised how people can come together to make something happen. Even something as big as this. The lack of communication has been disconcerting and we’ve had a long time to address and attempt to figure out some of these issues.