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covid danielle keech

Back To School: Why some parents are or are not sending their children

There are two sides to every story is what we say when trying to understand one another during a disagreement. But in the case of COVID-19, it’s much more complicated. In the case of school decisions during the pandemic,  we’re not talking about two sides here, we’re talking about over 328.2 million people— an entire nation of households with their own story and beliefs. We’re talking about teachers, parents, and students all scared and concerned, but for different reasons.

There is so much to discuss, like PCSing military families in need of community, homes with limited resources, our children’s ability to learn in particular scenarios, and different types of distance learning offered (virtual classroom vs. provided homeschool curriculum). Since there isn’t a one-size fits all option, we’re sharing what some parents have told us is behind their family’s decision. Maybe one of them resonates with you.

Yes or No — Parents Answer Why or Why Not They’re Sending Kids to School During COVID

1. Some are happy with the adjustments the schools are making. “My kids’ school split the student body into groups, so there are fewer people on campus at a time. They spaced the kids out and have them in spots next to empty chairs, and they got rid of the carpet, so every surface is easy to sanitize. The school is also providing plastic face shields to wear over their masks. Without these precautions in place, I would not be comfortable sending my child to school and would keep them home.” — Carmen

2. You’re not happy with the adjustments the schools are making. “We are schooling at home with a Virtual Charter school. Our first choice was to send them to school in-person but with them being in First and Kindergarten, it seems it will be more like a prison than a school.” — Sadie

3. You need childcare. “I’m sending my kids to school! Right now, I’m enjoying working full time, and I don’t want to put the pressure of school on their nanny, so going to school works best for our family! My biggest concern is that I don’t think my kids will realistically wear a mask all day, and I want to keep my kids and their peers safe!” — Piper

4. You have high-risk family members. “We are choosing distance learning. We had the option to do rotational days, but because one of our sons has an IEP, he would have been required to be present all five days. Because our other son has a lung disease, we are especially careful about our exposure to other people. There isn’t enough scientific data to support the suggestion that children don’t get it with the same regularity as adults, because most children have been out of school since March. As such, we had to choose between keeping Chris healthy and keeping Zach in school for his IEP.” — Katie

5. You don’t feel that distance learning is a realistic option. “As a military parent and a teacher, I think distance learning is a terrible option — the thought of a student, of any age, staring at a computer for up to five hours a day…I’m hard-pressed to find anything beneficial about that. I’d be all for sending my kids back to school if I had that option. We will be homeschooling for sure the first half of the year, and perhaps longer depending on what schools are looking like come January.” — Megan

Here’s the thing, we don’t have to all feel the same feelings, isn’t that a relief? It’s not our place to judge, point fingers, or change someone’s mind. Instead, we can show empathy, compassion, and support. Why? Because when it comes down to it, we’re all making the decision that we feel is best for our own families. It just might look different than your decision.

Danielle Keech

Danielle is just like you — another down-to-earth military spouse learning every day how to navigate the craziness. As a mama of two, she knows what it takes to juggle solo parenting, a work-from-home career, and the demands of military life. She’s a firm believer that community is a key part of thriving and hopes to remind readers that they’re not alone through her writing. Want to connect? Find Danielle on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.”

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