(Photo from Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education)
Dan Greenberg made a post on Facebook to help parents understand the realities of what school officials are feeling to as they make plans to return to school in August:
Parents and Community Members –
I want to share some realities with you about school this Fall, because we are trying the best we can in a situation where WE CANNOT WIN, where we don’t have a good solution. Our circumstances are changing rapidly. Our resources are limited. Whatever your school district is doing PLEASE GIVE THEM SOME GRACE. PLEASE STOP TEARING THEM DOWN. PLEASE STOP BASHING THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Know that, if they do a rapid “about face,” they are doing so because they are trying to adapt and do the best they can for children.
Here are four things I’d like you to consider as you think about school reopening:
1. There is no good plan for school this Fall. Every plan has a significant downside. Every plan has serious obstacles. If there was a perfect plan, every school would adopt it. This does not stop school districts from exploring every option possible to make their plans as strong as possible. School district leaders, including administration, Board members and teachers are spending countless hours drafting and re-drafting plans to open school.
2. Plans will change drastically by the time school starts. The plans that sound decent right now, could sound terrible in four weeks. In mid-June, I felt pretty confident about what school would look like in August. Now, I feel completely different about things. The spread of Covid. The politics. The sentiments of community members. They have all changed. I guarantee they will change just as much by mid-August.
3. If we do go back to school in-person every day, I am preparing to be teaching remotely by mid-September. Just look at what is happening at restaurants. One person tests positive and the restaurants shut down (per Health Department policy) for cleaning and for people to quarantine. In schools, it is going to be just like this, if not worse. If one student tests positive, half the people in that school will be connected to that student. And if that student has siblings at another school… That is just one student. It is highly probable that a handful of cases could shut a whole district And it’s highly probable we will quickly have a handful of students who test positive for Covid.
** This is the case at private schools too. I guarantee you, if public schools have to shut down, the private schools will be doing the same thing at the same time. **
4. Splitting classes and having students report every other day helps, but it just delays the inevitable. You know who will still be at school every day? The teachers and other staff members. If half the staff has to quarantine, who is instructing the students? Subs? We never function with half of our staff being absent. We don’t have enough subs for that.
Thanks for your consideration and for your support.
~Dan Greenberg, English teacher, Southview High School, Sylvania City School District
Greenberg is also the president of the Sylvania Education Association.
“We find ourselves, no matter which path we take, coming up with road blocks, significant impediments to one plan or another and things that are going to make it a less than perfect plan,” Greenberg said.
He said he made the Facebook post after feeling the impacts of parent’s frustration as schools begin releasing plans to reopen. He stressed that teachers and leaders are preparing everyday, but the reality is they don’t entirely know what to be prepared for.
He calls this a “no-win” situation. That’s because the circumstances are always changing and area schools have limited resources.
He said have patience, this is the first time they’ve had to create a reopening plan.