As our neighboring school district, Sacramento City Unified, continues with their back-to-school contingency plan, we know all too well to hang on to our “Debbie Downer” reality as much as to our hopes that we will soon carry on as usual. The schools that are opening before us around the country, only to close within days due to COVID-19 exposure, serve as cautionary tales that help us remain humble and flexible.
As we emerge from our isolation, wincing from the sunlight, and re-introduce ourselves to our social groups, we are constantly reminded to make sure we have adapted though our 5-month evolution as a society…not to touch each other, with an exception to the elbow handshakes, maintain that six foot distance, keep our masks on while playing the guessing game if your company is smiling or frowning, and perform a scrub down upon entry and exit that a surgeon would be proud of. In SCUSD’s “Return Together” 2020-2021 School Plan, the district assures us that it’s okay to remind family and friends of their COVID-19 civic responsibilities. It seems like a heavy responsibility for our quarantined, isolated kids thirsting for social interaction again, but that’s the Debbie Downer in me… I need to scale back now and remember that from the mouths of babes we learn valuable lessons, and they prove to be the bravest and most adaptable of us all.
We have no news of my home district, San Juan Unified, going back to the classroom any time soon, and I don’t believe there is any homeschooling charter school that will allow their students to participate in-person support for this entire semester. I receive calls daily from anxious parents who don’t see distance learning serve their child close to any capacity as their physical classroom did, but I assure them that we’re gonna make it. Learning pods are happening, support groups are forming, and parents/guardians and teachers are coming together and getting creative to make sure these students are still obtaining the education they deserve.
See! There’s that balance. Actually, I have the confidence, along with my hope that we will get our kids through this and be better learners because of it.