It is Time for New York Schools to go 100% Remote Learning
I think it's time for Capital Region schools to pull the plug on in-school learning and transition to all remote learning. I might be a little biased with a wife who is a teacher and a daughter that is a high school senior that has a compromised immune system that has already transitioned to all remote learning.
Covid cases and deaths continue to rise in New York and throughout the country according to an education website Chalkbeat. More kids are testing positive and so are the teachers and school staff. There is obviously a risk to the students, but it is a smaller risk with usually fewer severe symptoms than adults if they come down with the coronavirus. Many teachers and school staff are in the category for the highest risk if they catch the virus. According to the Times Union coronavirus rates are on the rise in Albany County and neighboring counties. NYC Schools have lost more than 90 teachers that have died from the coronavirus and hundreds have been sick with the virus.
My daughter's school, Averill Park High School, went back to school for a week after Christmas break for in-school learning and then almost immediately had to transition back to remote learning after something like 25 COVID cases was reported in students, teachers, and staff. It seems like every day I get an email from the school district announcing more cases.
In my opinion, we are playing Russian Roulette, especially with our teachers and school staff's lives. For what? So, schools can brag they're able to stay open? At what cost?
Until the virus, and now the UK variant, are under control and more teachers are vaccinated we need to go all remote learning. I know people are excited that teachers are getting vaccinated now, but it's going to take 14 weeks or more to get all the teachers that want the vaccination their first shot. So it will be toward the end of the school year before teachers are vaccinated and hopefully safe from the coronavirus. My wife called on the first day that the vaccine was available to teachers and has to wait a month before she can get her first shot.
The smart thing to do is for school districts to just declare the rest of this year remote, protect against further spread of the coronavirus in schools to students and teachers and plan for a better 2021 school situation in the fall. I know that can be a pain for parents that rely on schools to take care of their kids while they are at work, but really what's more important than the health of our teachers, students, and staff.
I understand that our kids might not be getting quite the same education remotely, but they are still learning and they are getting the education they need. We need to protect our teachers for the future of education....by closing schools and going all remote learning. I know this isn't a popular opinion, but sometimes doing the right thing, isn't the popular thing.