By Grace Barrios
Sending your child into a school full of students, teachers and administrators in the midst of a pandemic cannot be comforting for parents. There is no guarantee that students are 100% safe when they walk through the doors of their schools. Although precautions are put in place, parents can't help but wonder, how safe is my child?
Some parents are content with hybrid learning and believe it is the best solution to ensure safety for students and staff during the pandemic. Theresa Kelly, an OB parent, says, “I feel a bit tentative about sending my children to school; however, I believe the state and the school are taking the necessary precautions to ease my concerns about sending my child to [school].”
Kara Zahradnik, another OB parent, adds, “I feel alright sending my high schooler to school because I feel like you have the ability to social distance and keep safe. I do wish that you could attend in person on a daily basis because I think it is a better way to learn and interact with peers; however, I believe that the kids’ safety is more important.”
Mercy Myers, a mother of junior and sophomore students attending OBHS, also shares her thoughts about having her kids participate in hybrid learning. “It’s unfortunate that our children have to experience school and social interaction with their friends and peers with the many restrictions placed upon them during the pandemic, but I also value the training in adaptability that this situation brings into their lives and experiences,” Meyers says.
Although many parents are content with the district’s reopening plan, others, like Brian Walsh, believe that hybrid learning is not necessary. Mr. Walsh says, “I feel very strongly students should be back in school for in person learning. The risks of a child getting seriously ill from Covid are very small and the unintended consequences of them not going to school will be significant over the upcoming years.”
These unprecedented times lead to different perspectives and opinions among learning communities. Although some believe children are missing out on essential school experiences and not learning to the fullest extent, others believe all precautions must be taken to ensure the health of students and staff.