Friday night football games, choir concerts, one-act plays, and halftime marching band performances…
Meals for hungry kids, counseling, childcare, and vital support services for special needs students…
As Texas families ponder the beginning of the school year, they’re understandably mourning what they’re missing and frustrated with the options before them. COVID-19 has taken so many things away from us, and what we had hoped would be a short-lived challenge has turned into an ongoing nightmare.
For some Texas families, COVID has also exposed the vulnerability of their daily lives, particularly related to work, access to housing, and even putting food on the table. Meanwhile, an essential lifeline, their local schools, has been yanked away, and the mental, emotional, and academic ramifications for students may be evident for years to come.
In March of this year, there was an outpouring of support for teachers everywhere. As time went on, the enthusiasm for teachers was replaced by frustrations with remote learning, which, while a necessary option for now, has revealed that nothing can replace the effectiveness of in-person instruction and a great teacher.
Now, at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year with the reality of more virtual schooling, parents are getting creative on behalf of their students. All sorts of temporary learning-from-home scenarios have emerged, including the concept of “learning pods,” some led by parents and others by teachers or tutors. If kids can’t be with their teachers right now, at least they can share their learning with a few of their friends.
For those exploring such creative learning possibilities, we have one simple request:
Use them to supplement your child’s remote, in-person, or hybrid public schooling — not as a replacement.
Enrolling your student in your public school ensures they still have access to the best-prepared teachers, access to the best resources and systems designed to help meet the needs of all students, and, whenever we can all get back to a more normal in-school experience, access to all the other things we miss — sports, arts, academic, extracurricular, and other offerings only provided by our public schools.