Long time EdLanta writer, Ikhlas Saleem shares her thoughts on Coronavirus and essential things parents and school leaders need to know. See original post here.
Today, Fulton County Schools closed because a teacher has tested positive for coronavirus. I want to think it’s not a big deal but it’s kind of a big deal. Fulton County is one of the biggest school districts in Georgia—and also, it’s my neighboring county.
Like most parents, I’m sure you’ve been following the coverage of school closures due to COVID-19. I won’t list them all because there have been a lot– “As of March 9, 2020, 381 schools have been closed, affecting 257,069 students,” according to Education Week. To give context, there are 132,853 public and private schools in the U.S. and almost 50.8 million students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If you’re curious to see all the closures–whether they’ve been for a day or extended period–you can check their handy map for full coverage.
While some schools have been quick to close, others are playing the wait-and-see. Northshore School District, which is northeast of Seattle and the epicenter of the outbreak, decided to go fully virtual in response to COVID-19. Here’s how they’re doing it. While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio today noted, “[NYC Public Schools would] only consider closing any particular school for very specific reasons and for as brief a period of time as possible.”
School closures can be stressful. I mean on one hand, “yay for schools thinking about safety!”, and on the other hand, “OMG, I have to go to work. Who is going to keep my child?” This article digs into “balancing potential health benefits against the cost of keeping parents away from work.”
OK, so what happens if schools continue to close for an extended period? China has some tips. And, here’s a downloadable guide you can share with your child’s school to help facilitate a back-up plan in case of an outbreak.
There’s a wealth of information out there and…it’s kind of annoying. I mean, how do you know what you should be concerned about and whatnot? If you’re a charter school leader (or know one or just curious) Charter School Capital is hosting a series of webinars with a Mayo Clinic doctor to help parse out myth from fact when it comes to COVID-19.
Once you’re done with the news and information, you have the actual work left–tending to your stuck-at-home child. But who wouldn’t want to spend 24 hours with their child, at home. Read the sarcasm here. Luckily, my colleague went through this while teachers were striking in Chicago and jotted down some helpful tips for parents when the kids are home.
Have more info and tips to add to this piece? Drop them in the comments and I’ll keep this article updated with your suggestions!
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.