Back to School? The New Landscape of Education

Rob GarzaBy Rob Garza, Digital Print Consultant at MEDiAHEAD

How times keep changing throughout 2020 for our youth’s education. It was tough already for the 2020 class to graduate, have gatherings and to even celebrate the accomplishments they’ve made throughout their 13 years of education. Parties cancelled, family travel cancelled and/or moved, to celebrations done by parking lot gatherings and drive by parades. It’s a lot to handle for anyone. More stress. More planning. And a lot more emotion and anxiety we don’t need at a time of celebration.

Speaking for myself, who has a child in high school, I thought school would be starting at its regular date. With enrollment coming up, my daughter was already participating in conditioning and cheer clinics. All of this came to a sudden stop on July 16th when Kansas Governor Laura Kelley proposed to push schools opening 3 weeks later, after Labor Day. This would in turn help the school system gather additional masks, thermometers, and hand sanitizer, and to still decide on curriculums for the school year.

Pushing school back three weeks changed everything.

Time to go back to school?Sporting practices and other school related activities stopped. It seemed like we were back at square one. This was a little disconcerting for me as a parent. My daughter just wants to get back to school, see her friends, participate in activities, go to games, etc. She just wants things back the way they were. (Don’t we all?)

There are roughly a half a million kids going back to school at some point. We’re still not sure how that will be mandated. It leaves the decision up to districts on how to operate schools–whether with in-person instruction, virtual instruction or a combination of the two.  It all depends on the level of COVID-19 outbreaks in our communities, according to the newspaper.

Deciding how to safely go back to school.

This is a big responsibility for anyone trying to come up with a plan to make “everyone” happy.

The work that teachers did before the pandemic was monumental. Now they have even more responsibility. Making sure masks are worn and worn correctly. (That will be a feat in and of  itself) Making sure hands are sanitized. And that social distancing is respected. Oh, and they need to educate our kids.

Times have changed, but we have to keep a level head. We have to care about one another and our families. Everyone is different and everyone has their own opinion. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Change happens, and sooner or later we all will have to adapt to these changes. Enjoy your life, enjoy your family, because life moves quickly and can be much shorter than you think.

So to the rest of the parents out there… we will get through this together. And our kids will be stronger and probably more appreciative as a result. Be sure to thank the teachers and administrative staff every chance you get!

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