My kid won’t be doing in-person school. At least for now.
Our school district (we’re in Liberty Hill ISD) is all about offering “Choice” to the community, allowing parents to choose every six weeks whether they’ll do in-person or remote learning.
My son is a seventh grader this year; a new student at our town’s junior high school. As the beginning of school approached, he told me he really wanted to do in-person school. He misses his friends and he misses the structure, although I’m sure he would argue that part.
I was nervous about the idea of sending him back to school because my son is referred to among our family and friends as, “our little Ebola monkey.”
He’s sick every time the wind changes direction, which is a figure of speech, yes.
But I do mean it literally, too.
He has Reactive Airway Disease, causing asthma and a tender baby peach of an immune system that has him missing a week or so of school at the start of every school year, usually another one mid-year, and another one near the end of school.
I’ve asked his pediatrician and his pulmonologist if there may be something else going on with him, and they both say that no, “some kids just have a run of bad luck.”
My child is a precious unicorn, somehow managing to get all the weird, rare stuff. You may have seen my post about his diagnosis with PANDAS at the beginning of his fifth grade year.
He also has a type of hearing loss that’s rare in kids, called “cookie-bite hearing loss.”
I swear on a bottle of vodka, I am not a Munchausen syndrome by proxy mother, but I sure do feel like it sometimes – so much so that I sometimes lie about him being sick and just claim that I’m the one who’s sick. (If you claim to have diarrhea, nobody asks questions, so that’s usually my go-to when I’m feeling self conscious about my son being sick yet again.)
Contracting COVID as a kid is supposedly rare, but I just KNOW if a kid’s going to get it, it’s going to be mine.
But that’s only part of the reason why we opted for remote learning instead of in-person.
With things still changing nearly every day, as far as what causes COVID, who can get it, how it’s contracted, how it presents in different people, what we’re allowed to do in public, what we HAVE to do in public, it’s clear that NOBODY KNOWS ALL THE ANSWERS.
Before school even started, as sanctioned sports started back up in our area, students almost immediately had to start quarantining because of exposure to COVID, and that was when there was only a fraction of the student bodies coming together.
My concern with in-person school this year is that, as COVID cases pop up in the schools, classrooms will have to quarantine (I know this is already happening in some areas, after only three half-days of in-person school!), and schools will have to close periodically, sending those students home for remote learning until they get the all-clear to come back to the classroom.
Once these students, who have been in-person learners, are sent home as remote learners, they have to get up to speed on the virtual learning platforms in addition to learning the content.
Some students will easily manage these changes and this back and forth between classroom learning and home learning.
Others will struggle, but I realize some families simply don’t have the choice. They HAVE to send their kids to school and just hope that they won’t get sent home for quarantine.
As an almost-single mom, I understand this worry.
I work from home, but I’m a freelance writer and I’m depending on businesses to keep plugging away during this COVID crisis so they can keep hiring me to write for them. If the work stops coming in, I’ll have to seek work outside the home and send my son to in-person school, whether he’s healthy enough to go or not.
It’s an impossible situation for parents everywhere.
But I know that no matter what happens, and whether our kids end up having to go to in person school and then have that stop-and-go, back-and-forth, in-person-then-remote lack of consistency, our sweet babes are going to be fine.
They won’t be any further behind than the majority of their peers.
They’re all going to be just fine.