New Jersey Parents: Potential Return To Virtual, Remote Learning?
NOTE: The following are my observations as a 30-plus years radio broadcaster, parent, grandparent, volunteer youth and high school athletics coach, New Jersey certified high school basketball official and former Board of Education Member.
First, Happy New Year and let’s do everything within our power to make it a great 2022.
Now, I want to sound the clarion call that it’s time for parents, grandparents and all concerned parties to pay very close attention to what may be coming next regarding your children and how they will be able to attend school.
Numerous Board’s of Education are set to meet early in the new year.
The topic is the potential return to virtual, remote learning for students.
Experts have been weighing-in about this topic during the entire COVID-19 pandemic. They have consistently stressed the importance of children being in the classroom.
Various respected Medical experts have also given the green light.
Remote learning for students is disastrous for the educational delivery system. We’ve seen the debilitating effects during the nearly past two years.
Children need the vital social, emotional component that occurs during:
- Classroom instruction
- Break times together
- Gym class together with teacher
- Lunchtime with their fellow students
- Extra and Co-Curricular activities
- For the students who travel to and from school together, this is also an important social experience during formative years of development.
- For many children, their school meal(s) are the only nutrition that they receive on a daily basis.
Some students continued to thrive during the various times that remote learning has been in effect.
Other students have seen their grades and emotional well being suffer dramatically.
Still others have been completely lost in the virtual learning scheme.
Significant depression and even suicides have occurred during these unnatural times of isolation.
Some children have been lost because they need the in classroom instructional setting and having close supervision and access to a teacher.
Other children have been lost due to socio-economic reasons; lack of proper technology to connect remotely and a lack of other required support mechanisms.
We have had it beaten into our heads that we need to follow the science.
The experts have determined that children belong in the classroom and not home for remote learning methods.
You simply cannot replicate at home what takes place in the proper school setting.
We have been very respectful and mindful of the overall seriousness of COVID-19.
We will soon be entering Year 3 of our unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
It is incumbent that we learn to “live” with COVID-19. We have effective vaccines. We have working therapies and other methods to treat infection and the potential negative effects from this highly contagious virus.
Policies and procedures must be adopted and embraced by all parties where the vulnerable are protected.
The students must also be given the peace of mind that their school years will not constantly be disrupted anymore.
The students will never be able to get these two years back. It’s altering society in ways that we must respect and begin to pay very close attention to.
You also must closely track what your local school board is preparing to do. Attend school board meetings. Let your voice be heard and your will be known.
Most board’s listen to parents wishes … but, not all do.
You can be the difference. You can make the difference.
Get involved. Stay informed. Also, do everything in your power to not allow a political agenda of any kind to drive important educational decisions.
It’s always important to do so in a civil, professional manner … especially at times when tensions are building to the boiling point.
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