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Drew: Adults Play Key Role in Virtual vs. In-Person Classes Debate

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

Schools across America are reopening using either in-person traditional classrooms, virtual or hybrid models. Even though schools are reopening we continue to be in the middle of a global pandemic, so as a parent or guardian you still wonder which is the best and safest model for you and your child(ren).

Eventually schools all will reopen, both private and public, with some form of in-person learning. America has traditionally used schools to implement many of its societal or in this case medical/scientific issues of the day; believing schools are the best instrument of positive change for a society to move forward.

This belief in theory is correct, but there is another important variable which impacts this theory, adults. Therefore, as a parent or guardian, it is essential you stay up to date on the scientific facts instead of depending solely on others. Note, COVID-19 scientific facts are forever changing due to the newness of the disease which has prompted much global testing and research. This article will share some of the recent findings in an attempt to help aid in your decision about your child(ren)’s learning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that “some children may be at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or may be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. For these children, parents and caregivers may need to take additional precautions with regard to school re-entry. There are more COVID-19 cases reported among children with intellectual and developmental disabilities than those without.

People of any age, including children with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Additionally, children who are medically complex, who have neurological, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, compared to other children. Severe illness means that they may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or many even die.”

It is important to keep in mind that children using the in-person classroom model, no matter the number of days, must return home.  Therefore, you need to consider whether other household members are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Research, as well as our nation’s unfortunate death totals, have shown that members of racial and ethnic minority groups and homeless individuals are at greater risk for being impacted by COVID-19. These are the types of factors one should weigh when deciding.

Remember, staying up to date with the facts about COVID-19 is important, as earlier stated. So, Keeping an Eye on Safety may require you to go periodically to your state and/or local health department’s website. It will provide information about the current spread of COVID-19 in your area.