Back to school. First, let me backtrack a few months to when everyone was first in quarantine and Jonathan had to finish up his 4th-grade year doing distance learning. We didn’t know what to expect honestly when Jonathan had his first zoom meeting with his teacher and classmates. He was required to meet on zoom twice a week for about an hour. It was nice for Jonathan to see his classmates and teacher. The zoom meetings consisted of his teacher checking in on everyone and they did some fun activities (scavenger hunts around the house, science project with celery, egg drop from the highest point of your home were a few that I remembered). Also, our district sent out monthly homework packets that had assignments that the students were to complete each week. It was very standard work and it honestly did not challenge Jonathan enough. Overall Jonathan struggled with distance learning. It wasn’t the work, but just the distractions in our home (little siblings, etc.). I believe our teachers tried their best given the circumstances of switching to distance learning when they were not prepared at all to do so. It was a learning experience for all and we appreciate the dedication that the teachers put in during that challenging time.
So fast-forwarding to August we were updated with our district’s reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year and they planned to offer parents full distance learning, in-person learning, five days a week for Elementary students and hybrid models for Middle School and High School students. Knowing we would have two students in Elementary school this year and our experience with distance learning from the Spring as a family we felt comfortable with the requirements that our district put in place for in-person learning to send both our boys this year. It was not an easy decision and I can assure you I switched from the boys should go to school to let’s do distance learning more than a few times before school started. Just to give you some insight on what our district is implementing for in-person learning is all students and staff have to wear face masks (unless at lunchtime or you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering), social distancing is practiced (3 to 6 ft apart in the classroom at all time), and the kiddos can’t play on any school equipment at recess time. Washing hands often and sanitizing the classrooms thoroughly throughout the day. Lastly, all kids eat in their designated classrooms. They are trying to keep each class in cohorts so if any outbreaks do occur they can hopefully just have that class shut down instead of the entire school. Parents are also required to self screen their kiddos before sending them to school each day. So given all these things stated above I was unsure on how the kiddos felt about heading to school knowing they couldn’t play on the playground at recess, had to wear masks all day, but the first couple of days that I picked up the boys they were so happy to be around their friends, teachers, and back in the classroom. Jonathan came home so excited and full of enthusiasm for his new teacher. I knew right when I heard the excitement in his voice that we made the right decision for now. Jordan is also so excited to be in Kindergarten and he loves his teacher (which was Jonathan’s Kindergarten teacher that we loved). We are certainly taking it day by day and are prepared to switch to distance learning if necessary (fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that).
I would love to hear what your school plans are for this year, whatever that may look like for you and your family I am wishing you all the best! XO