This has been the prevailing question from anyone and everyone I have talked with over the last few weeks when discussing back to school planning. I do not get asked as much about my older son, who is in High School, because he isn't in the at-risk group, but we know that Maclain lands squarely in that category.
The answer, however, is yes, we are sending him back to school for in-person learning. Am I nervous? Yes. Was I scared? Yes. Am I confident in my decision? Yes. I learned a long time ago that if I had even a 1% margin of doubt about whether to do something with Maclain, be it camp, therapy, medical intervention, etc., it was enough of a percentage not to do it.
You Do You. We Will Do Us.
I know I may face some criticism from others in my community, but we made this decision as a family, consulting with our school team and weighing things out. He misses his friends, and he misses school. My son is an anomaly. He LOVES school. Never wants to miss a day. When things ended so abruptly in March, he eagerly awaited the announcement that schools would be open again. Week after week, month after month. And as we all know, it didn't happen. And for excellent reasons, which he understood. We all hunkered down and stayed inside, limited our exposures, and still worked to stay as safe as possible as restrictions eased, but he always missed school.
This isn't to say that he hasn't loved the sleeping in, video game playing and extended March Break because he has loved all of that and will miss summer's lazy days. He also did terrific during distance learning, so much so that we signed him up for numeracy and literacy courses for July to help keep the momentum going and close some of the gaps in his learning. All of this, coupled with the fears around his not so great respiratory system and that he is usually a sitting duck for viruses from October to April, would seem to lead to us keeping him home and having him participate in distance learning. But when it came down to it, and we weighed all the options and looked at what was best for Maclain at this time, the decision came more straightforward than I thought. And I have not had a moment of anxiety yet, although I am sure it is coming.
Our New Normal
Numerous safety protocols and even transparent masking for the staff working with him have put my mind at ease, and the smile on his face at drop off today told me all I needed to know.
This might be short-lived, and we may find that at some point, we need to decide to take him out of in-person and go online; heck, we may see that happen with all schools anyways as I see the cases of COVID have increased over the past few days. But today, even amongst all the abnormal, it just seemed familiar. And that was a nice feeling after all these months.
Whatever decision you make for YOUR child as they begin a new school year in a very different world, remember it is the right decision for YOUR child. In school, online, whichever it is, you have got this, and they have got this!
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