For many of us, the “new normal” has dramatically impacted our daily lives. This is true for organizations as well, including your child’s school. Some schools have worked hard and successfully adapted to difficult changes due to COVID-19, others have struggled. For something as important as your child’s education and preparation for college, it would make sense to make sure that your child’s school and the new school year are ready to serve your family well.
Here are 5 “indicators” that will help you determine the answer to that question.
How Much Did Your Child Learn During the Last 3 Months When Classrooms Were Empty?
Schools were supposed to quickly shift to an on-line format, increase communications with students and parents, and continue to provide auxiliary services including meals (National School Lunch Program), etc. This is extremely challenging! Many schools failed to meet these requirements. If your child was not receiving weekly homework packets, did not have access to weekly online videos from your child’s teacher explaining and correcting academic activities, and had to make other arrangements for lunch service, this would be a pretty good indicator that your school was struggling.
Do You Know Exactly What Your Current School’s Plan is for This Fall?
If your school has not published their calendar for the upcoming school year and a detailed plan about how they are dealing with this situation, they are at best behind schedule and at worst, maybe struggling to figure out what to do. They also should be proactively reaching out to you as a parent at this point (July 2020).
Is Your Child Excited to Return to School This Fall?
If your child was happy and doing well academically at their school before COVID-19, that is the best indicator that it will probably continue. If not, since there is so much change happening anyway, it may be the easiest time for your child to change schools as there will be many new students this fall at the healthy charter schools…so they won’t be the “new kid”.
Are You Confident That Your School is Going to Follow All the New Health Guidelines?
There are lots of different ways to be a healthy school and meet the guidelines. Therefore it would be impossible to evaluate all those in this short article. However, the one easy way to make this determination is to find out if your school has hired dedicated personnel to specifically deal with the new health requirements. In other words, if they are just assigning more work to their existing staff, no matter how good their plan is (assuming they have one), it won’t work. There is just too much to do for existing staff.
Is Your School Financially Stable Enough to Make the Big Changes Necessary?
If your school seemed to struggle before COVID-19 or if it is a small charter school (less than 150 kids total), the probability that 1) they have the resources to protect your child and 2) are long term sustainable as a school is most likely lower than you want it to be.
If you would like to see an example of a prepared charter school? Visit Tucson International Academy’s website.
If you would like some professional help (free) evaluating your current situation? Contact Dr. Jennifer Herrera directly.