Letter to the Editor

   I thought about the page one story on how public education will work in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year (What’s a parent to do?) and agree that getting children back to real learning is still off-track over the Covid-19 virus. Right now, all kinds of politicians are talking about all kinds of ideas on how to make this or that work. Over in Somerville, the city’s public schools will start all remote learning. Here in Boston, Mayor Walsh appears to still be hoping to do a hybrid learning strategy, two days in-classroom and two days at home remote learning.

   I am sure the last thing anyone wants is to see virus outbreaks connected to classroom teaching. Everyone wants everyone to stay healthy when classes and people resume inside school buildings. There is no easy or one solution that can guarantee a risk free environment when the school year begins. However, any decision made will need to take in account for all, teachers, students , parents etc.

   This last spring when public school buildings closed and everyone went to remote learning, for many the learning was less than ideal. At least last spring though, the economy was pretty much shut down as many people found themselves out of work or if lucky working from home. Many parents were able to do only so much, some better than others. However, today the economy under Phase 3 of the reopening of businesses again, many poor and working parents and many single parent families will be faced with working to pay the bills and teaching their kids simultaneously and that is a program elected officials can’t fix.

   How much learning really happened over the past 12 weeks of school before summer came along is suspect.  Pupils got pushed along to their next class year less prepared for new work at a higher-class level. I wonder how Somerville is going to go as school starts all remotely. Many parents could easily lose hope their kids can learn anything at all. Many school systems will keep a close eye on Somerville to see how all remote learning works out in that community.

  Personally, I think the hop-scotch two days in school and two days at home could be an even worse nightmare for parents. All the stakeholders are fighting for their voices to be heard but we can’t forget, the bottom line is to give our children a good and safe learning environment. I also think if we are waiting for everything to be 100 percent risk free, that day is never coming.

   I don’t envy our public officials. Are there any really good options out there that don’t add risks?  Every time I turn around, we keep getting all kinds of facts thrown our way and some of them contradict each other. All I can say is Thank God I am no longer a parent with school-age children to worry about. As for what’s a parent to do? Thinking about all this stuff just wants me to go back to bed, roll over, fall asleep and then wake up to find out it was all just a bad dream.
East Boston