10 Sep Attending School During the Pandemic
Never before have so many parents been confused about how their child’s education will take place during the upcoming school year. Concern about COVID-19 spreading through the schools has caused a great deal of confusion regarding how education will work during the 2020/2021 school year.
The Governor’s Thoughts About School This Year
One of the things making this school year so difficult is that California’s lawmakers seem to second guess themselves every single day. One day the governor announces that schools won’t open and all schooling will be done virtually. A few weeks later, an elementary school opens its doors and starts welcoming students.
The problem this poses for parents is figuring out how they’ll help their child get the education they need this year. Many aren’t even sure if the government has a plan in place to make sure that no child is left behind this school year.
The best thing parents can do is pay attention to any formal information their child’s school is passing on. As of right now, the governor has decreed that most of the schools will be going exclusively to virtual learning. There are some exceptions. Some schools have been issued waivers that allow them to open, provided they have measures in place to keep kids healthy this school year. Safety measures the schools who have received waivers are taking include:
- Taking student’s temperature
- Requiring everyone to wear masks
- Creating a plan to make sure students practice safe social distancing
It’s estimated that about 94% of all California’s school-aged children will be attending school virtually. Since many parents are new to virtual learning, they can’t help wondering how the school and state’s lawmakers will enforce virtual learning.
Laws to Make Sure Students Get Educated Via Virtual Learning
Both California lawmakers and educators are working hard to figure out how to ensure students are learning via virtual learning methods. They realize that some students are going to struggle with the new system. In June, lawmakers approved budget measures that enable the schools to create programs that are geared towards special needs students that will provide them with the unique tools and learning experiences they need to gain the knowledge they would have picked up in the classroom. Schools are also supposed to use the funds to create plans for any disasters that might force the school to close for 10 or more days.
The issue of truancy hasn’t been formally addressed at this time, though now that California’s school year has begun, it will likely be discussed soon. The state will likely leave it up to each school to create its own system to make sure students are attending virtual classes. If the student isn’t keeping up on their classwork or logging into the virtual learning program, the school will likely contact the local truancy officer who will launch an investigation.