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Drew: Balance Between the Social, Emotional and Academic Considerations

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

Despite this past summer’s scientific analyses which highlighted states across our country with different COVID-19 risk factors, school districts began the discussion and process of school reopening. According to the analysis, areas in red should not reopen, those in orange and yellow could partially reopen, and those in green were ready to reopen with conditions, such as avoiding high-risk activities, wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.

School districts heeded some of these analysis recommendations using limited, delayed, and adjusted school reopening learning mode approaches. Without a national reopening of schools strategy, each state and/or school district were left to create their own reopening strategy during this COVID-19 pandemic.

This has left the reopening of schools strategies across regions in our nation somewhat fractured. This lack of cohesiveness is what prompted the Eye on Safety columns articles over the past two months. These articles have offered pertinent information for parents/guardians to consider in making the best educational decision for their child(ren) and their household. Much, if not all, of the information shared was from various medical experts, scientists, and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here is the third of four questionnaires drafted by the CDC for consideration. Just like last week’s questionnaire, reply to each question by answering 1 – Does not Apply, 2 – Disagree, 3 – Unsure, and 4 – Agree. Answering these questions, along with the other two questionnaires from prior weeks, should be helpful in determining the best education strategy for your child and household during the COVID-19 pandemic. Next week’s article will address the fourth and final questionnaire by the CDC for parents/guardians. This week’s questions address both the child’s academic and social-emotional well-being. The questions are:

  • My child will be able to keep up academically through virtual/at-home learning.
  • My child will receive quality education through virtual/at-home learning.
  • My child will be sufficiently engaged during prolonged periods of virtual/at-home learning.
  • My child will be able to stay socially connected during prolonged periods of virtual/at-home learning.
  • If my child needs specialized adaptive communication devices, equipment, or learning aides, I am able to have them where I live.

As you and your family discuss the pros and cons of the various modes of learning being offered during the pandemic, make sure, as you desire to Keep an Eye on Safety, that you answer each of the three questionnaires honestly. Keeping in mind during your consideration process that the experts are slowly learning more about the coronavirus COVID-19 and how it affects children.