Who could’ve predicted the mess we’re facing with Back to School 2020? I have been an educator for 15 years and never imagined I'd live through anything like this. Back to school is usually hectic and stressful, a little bittersweet, but mostly exciting. Parents and children buy new clothes, supplies, worry about who their teacher will be and pray for a good year. That is until Back to School 2020.
In other years, the biggest problem with Back to School was trying to force children to start getting back on some sort of pre summer schedule and persuading them to want to return to school. Now things are almost the opposite.
Most everyone involved, including parents, teachers and children, want to go back to school, but fear of whether it is sensible or the best decision to do so right now. Will the recommended practices be enough to keep those involved in the reopening of schools in Back to School 2020 safe? Will school practices be able to be implemented in a way that is actually beneficial or will school opening actions just damage the slight progress that has been made in slowing the spread of the virus and lead to a longer period before some sense of normalcy can be resumed? Back to School 2020 is clouded in so much uncertainty that it feels physically draining, not that this whole period hasn’t been draining.
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Back to School 2020
Back to school happens at different times across the U.S. and around the world, depending on whether year round schooling or other methods are used. Typically back to school occurs in early August or September in many places, but Back to School 2020 may look different.
When Do We Go Back to School 2020?
When will Back to School 2020 occur is one of the most asked questions. Several states and counties have started releasing Back to School 2020 plans, with many opting to delay their normal starting from early August to after the Labor Day holidays. Some have decided to begin the Back to School 2020 year offering online or virtual school options . They plan to revaluate the state of the virus and possibly move to in person instruction at a later date.
Back to School Plan
The Back to School 2020 plans, just like the Back to School 2020 start dates, that have been released have varied drastically. Many school systems intend to have teachers report to schools, beginning from late July to early to mid August and then have them provide online and virtual lessons, but some others are choosing to reopen in person.
In these Back to School 2020 plans, parents were given the choice of having their child return to physical classroom settings or being taught through online or virtual platforms.
Regardless of the plan, your school district is using, some things we can all agree on are that Back to School 2020 is filled with fear, wishful hoping and confusion. No one, not parents, teachers, administrators, our children or those in the medical field, operating in advisory roles about reopening possibilities, are free from the Back to School 2020 chaos.
As a teacher and parent, I'm not free from all of the conflicting thoughts and feelings. If anything, they may be a little more magnified. I have been trying to read, listen to and watch everything that can provide even the slightest glimmer of information on the best course of action.
From those questions, research and reflection, I’ve come up with 13 powerful facts you need to know for Back to School 2020. They appear below.
1. You have a difficult decision to make about Back to School 2020.
You, all of you and all of us, have difficult decisions to make. This includes parents, teachers, administrators, those providing counsel like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and even children. One of the most frustrating things I have noticed in all the plans I have seen is the lack of involvement of all stakeholders.
I applaud the districts that have asked parents for their feedback, but what about the teachers and age appropriate children? Parents are not the ones who will be physically attending school and potentially being endangered. It is unbelievable to me that teachers and students have not consulted more in reopening plans.
Parents, talk to your children. How do they feel about potentially returning to school? Listen to their concerns and share it/them, if needed with, with the responsible party in your school system.
Teachers, it’s time to speak up. Now, in many cases we’re not being asked for our opinion, but sitting and complaining in private group chats or on Facebook groups is not going to help. Call your unions or professional organizations and share your suggestions or concerns, while you still can, before decisions are made that you will need to live with.
Administrators and those offering counsel, decide as if the school was filled with all your children and loved ones. What is the best worst case plan that can be implemented to keep all those you’re charged with overseeing safe and educated? If you feel something is wrong or not being adequately handled, speak up. You don’t want to look back with regret realizing that you could have made a difference, but didn’t.
I know not one of us, not one parent, teacher, administrator or advisor is 100% sure about anything related to Back to School 2020, but I know we are more likely to make better decisions if we work together.
2. There might be no “normal” back to school for a while.
This Back to School 2020 fact is one that I am really struggling with. For many of us, we thought, back in March, or whenever you became aware of the virus, that if we sheltered in place and gave the scientists some time, we would have a solution before the new school year began.