As a father of four beautiful children and a teacher for the last 24 years, my heart and head are still in education despite taking a year-leave of absence. I can’t help but pay attention to the plans and ideas going around school safety this fall. With the Covid-19 virus guiding both the state and local education plans, keeping up with all the changes can be challenging. As decisions are made, it is important that we, as parents and/or educators, give grace to those making the decisions. Everyone has incomplete information.
Based on that incomplete information, they are tasked to make decisions that impact the lives of tens of thousands of kids and families. Whether you agree or disagree, that is based on your incomplete information. Whatever side you are on, approach your opportunity to share your side with kindness. That said, below is a summary of events I have discovered based on recent board meetings.
As many of you know, LA Unified and SD Unified made the decision on July 13th to start the school year with distance learning. As a parent, I like Vista USD’s recent decision to postpone the start of school to September 8th. It gives teachers more time to prepare for Vista Virtual and gives parents hope that school may start as Vista Classic if things change with Covid-19 outbreaks.
As a parent, I know the value of being in a classroom and seeing my children thrive under the guidance of excellent teachers. At the same time, as a teacher, I know the importance of having my students face-to-face, building relationships, and allowing them to work collaboratively with each other. Add to that with science instruction, it is difficult to replicate lessons learned from setting up labs, discussing ideas and dealing with trial and error with laboratory experiments. Those experiences are difficult to replicate with online simulations.
If schools do open up, please be sure to discuss safety protocols with your principals to protect students, teachers, and staff from the Covid-19 virus. What mitigation steps will they take in the event a positive case arises? Or, what decontamination methods will be used both in the event of a Covid-19 infection and regularly to prevent? What EPA N Listed chemicals are they using to decontaminate? Are they food grade safe, especially when used in the classroom? Have them contact Bio-One and I can provide any assistance they need to ensure our children's and school safety.
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