School is starting soon, and parents have to make some serious decisions. In this article, use critical thinking to determine what is best for YOUR child(ren) by asking these questions:
1. Does my child have an existing health condition that they are being treated for that could prevent them from going back in the classroom?
If the answer to this question is yes, then it would be best to consult your health care provider to help you with this evaluation. Otherwise, if your child has no significant health challenges, you may want to explore some of the considerations below to assist you in your evaluation process.
2. Who do I believe about the COVID 19 risks for children?
The most objective approach to answering this question is to apply what your child’s school should be teaching them…critical thinking. Basically this means do your own research, look at the results, and then compare the numbers to what is normal. Then make your decision with these facts.
For example, as of 7/30/20 in Arizona, the AZDHS website says that there are 12 deaths over the last 5 months for persons under 20 years old attributed or presumed to be COVID and/or Influenza-Like illness (ILI). In the 2017-18 Flu Season (before COVID) that number was 14 for ages 5-19 (CDC 2018 data, 1/100,000 morbidity for this age group, 7,286,000 AZ population, 19.7% 5-19 years old)
Some things can sound really bad…until we understand what “normal” is. It’s always good to ask “Compared to what?” Talk to your child’s doctor to see what they recommend. Watch a Video from Dr. Hamilton
3. What are the unintended consequences of keeping my child at home (ie online learning, etc.)
Human beings when they are young, develop most of their emotional and social skills by engaging with others. Isolation or having friendships limited is known to have anywhere from mild to severe impact on a child’s well being. This is much the same as adults, except this is happening to our children before they develop these skills. There is some recent evidence for example in the rise of depression among school-aged children due to isolation.
We all know that the learning that happens in school goes far beyond academics; Social skills, leadership, experiencing new things, diversification of people, places, and things. A diverse, interesting, stimulating environment has MANY long term benefits. Conversely, not being able to experience an environment such as this, potentially limits a child in subtle ways.
4. How successful has my child’s learning been since last March, not being back in the classroom?
If your child has improved with a self-paced, on-line format over the past few months, make sure your school is offering online instructions and is not going to “remove” some of those new tools that your child likes when they return to the classroom.
If the learning has not been so good, that means they are getting behind. If that is the case the longer they stay in the current model, the more difficult it will ultimately be for them ever to achieve their academic goals. Look for a way to change what they are doing asap.
5. How much information is available from my child’s school as to how they are going to protect the children that show up for in-classroom learning?
In Arizona, school is starting soon. If your child’s school 1) has not been communicating with you all summer 2) does not have a detailed, published plan on how they are addressing the new health safety requirements 3) and you are not sure what options you have or know what is really going on…GO FIND A NEW SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD…your child is too important to take a chance! There are plenty of schools out there that care enough and are true professionals in what they do. Your child deserves the best…and to be safe!
Or call the school at 520-792-3255