A Word From A Parent- “let our students have what they want, they just want to be in school”

I am normally a parent who goes with the flow and assumes everyone has the best interest of the students at heart. Unfortunately this view has to change now. I do not understand how there is zero discussion taking place to get ALL students back in the buildings. I am lucky to have two high school students that can work independently during the school day so my husband and I can continue to go to our job. We both work local government and I have been in the office 100% during COVID and my husband teleworks 3x week per his office protocol. We are also lucky to provide our children with the technology needed to do remote learning including headphones and the most powerful internet we could get. However, this is failing mine and many other students. My sophomore LOVES schools. She has since she was little. This is the girl that would cry on snow days because there wasn’t school. She would come home angry on days when school started 2 hours late because she didn’t have math but they did have recess (according to her math is more important than recess). This past spring she did every assignment given out by her teachers because she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to learn. However this is changing. She just called me CRYING that her first period was horrible. The school issued laptop would not work to get our wifi signal (this just started yesterday). She then sat on the floor of our office to hard wire into the modem while my husband worked next to her. She had to block her ears as my husband had to take work calls. She loved French last year and had an easy time remembering what she learned in class. This year she can’t remember what she learned last year and she is having a horrible time picking up new things discussed in class. The last thing she said to me – I just want to be back in school. The technology issues do not even touch the emotional and social toll being out of school is taking on her. Right when schools closed in March she was finally finding her friend group. Unfortunately she is quiet and shy and wouldn’t reach out to others via social media. She has been virtually alone for 6 months now. She needs to feel part of society again. It is truly sad when your child is excited to pick up books and materials at school so she can see other people and the teachers she loves. Give her something to look forward to. Give her a date she can work towards to be back in school. Yes, the date may move but it gives her hope. Many schools systems around the country have implemented the hybrid model successfully. Let our students have what they want. They want to be in school. Even twice a week with other people is better than 100% alone. It was clear in July that majority of students at her high school want to be in school (72% of students at James Madison High School picked hybrid, the most of any school in the county) and their choice should be respected. I hope you will all do better for our students.

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