It’s summer, and the last thing that many parents, and especially students, want to think about is the upcoming school year. But, with the coronavirus still around, and with numbers spiking in some parts of the country, a question that is lurking in the background is what is going to happen come August?
According to a recent report by the Washington Examiner, schools in Arizona just received an order to push back the start of the school year, extending summer vacation by two weeks.
That’s one approach
Arizona is one of those states that is currently experiencing a sharp rise in coronavirus numbers, seeing thousands of new cases each day. Accordingly, the state’s school board, just like others across the country, is trying to determine how to go about educating the population now that the coronavirus is a fact of life.
For now, it has been decided that the school year will start two weeks later than previously planned.
“We want to bring as much certainty as possible for Arizona’s schools,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “Our objective is to educate our kids as best as possible in the safest possible environment.”
Apparently, this two-week delay will help with these goals. At the moment, though, students don’t even know whether they will be in a classroom or before a computer screen this school year.
Back to school
In the early Spring, when the coronavirus really got going here in the United States, schools across the country canceled in-person classes and switched to remote learning.
The coronavirus, with a few exceptions, has not been nearly as bad in children as it has been in adults. Switching to remote learning, thus, was not so much about protecting the students from getting the coronavirus, but preventing the students from spreading the virus to their family members and beyond.
In some states, Arizona being one, parents are now being asked to decide whether, in this upcoming school year, the remote learning should continue or whether in-class learning should resume.
Such surveys have largely not been completed, and so it is unclear what school will look like this year.
Some other considerations
The coronavirus is indeed a concern, but, for some parents, a greater concern is the education that their children are now getting – or not getting. Based on what I have seen, remote-learning is certainly no substitute for in-class learning; if anything, it is closer to a vacation. This, in turn, raises other questions, such as, “why should I be paying the same tuition for remote-learning that I would pay for in-class learning?” It’s a good question.
Then, with places like Arizona pushing the start of the school year back, one is left wondering whether there is even going to be school this year. At the moment, there is simply no answer to the question of how school is going to look in the post-coronavirus world.