When, the effects of this horrific pandemic, became, visible, and, by March 2020, there were so many suffering, ill, scared, and dead, nearly all schools, determined, the need to close, for public health reasons, precautions, and safety. Most of these, resorted to relying on some sort of, remote learning, in order, to attempt to continue the educational needs, and necessities. Most hoped, by now, it would be safe and wise to reopen schools, for this Fall semester, and, many proponents of doing so, referred to the successful reopening, in other nations. Others indicated their concern, for the emotional health, and well – being, of, especially, younger children, because of the impact of this isolation, etc. On the other hand, many believe, we cannot reopen, until, the infection rate, is, far – lower, than it is, in most parts of this nation. In fact, presently, about two – thirds of our states, are experiencing an infection rate, of 10%, or greater, while most public health professionals, warn, unless/ until, that rate, is at least, lower than 5%, there is far, too – much – risk, of doing so! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 significant considerations.
1. Emotional reasons/ health/ educational quality: Most believe, educational quality is considerably better, when conducted, in – person! In addition, the impact on the children’s health, and well – being, are reasons, suggesting, a need, to reopen schools, sooner.
2. Personal economics/ back – to – work: Many people are challenged, to be able, to return to their normal, work environment, if schools are closed, because, for many, it leaves, significant challenges, in maintaining, adequate child – care!
3. Kids aren’t guinea pigs: New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, proclaimed, Kids aren’t guinea pigs, when President Trump, articulated a message, seeming to demand, schools reopen, fully, and in – person, earlier this summer, for the Fall Semester. Since then, Trump has stated, it was safe to do so, because, he contended, children are immune, etc. These statements have been largely discredited, by public health professionals, yet, this President, seems to maintain, his demand to reopen, as soon, as possible!
4. Local/ regional information/ data/ transmission rate: When schools are safe to reopen, should be determined, based on when its safe, to do so, based on the local/ regional data, regarding the infection rate, etc! The professionals state, unless, the rate, is no higher than 5% (preferably lower), the risk, far outweighs, any potential reward!
5. Ability to adapt: Since, the infection rate is still high, in most areas, and because, in order to reopen, safely, not only the safety of the attending children, but also, the school’s staff, teachers, and parents, feel safe, and comfortable, returning, must be seriously considered! Many believe, there is a need, to closely monitor, proceed with flexibility (based on numbers/ data), and, an ability to adapt, will be needed. Should this be, in – person, remote learning, or some sort of hybrid model?
Protect our children, parents, teachers, staff, and the overall community, by ensuring, we reopen schools, wisely, safely, and intelligently! This is not a political issue, but a public health, one!