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Drew: Is Virtual Learning Feasible for You and Your Family?

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

After you have reviewed your school’s or school district’s reopening plan relative to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and educating your child every day, you may feel that in-person or hybrid classrooms are not the best method of education for you and your child(ren). I have heard some parents choose one mode of learning for one child and another learning mode for their other child(ren) using their age and grade level as the determining factor. Where in other cases, I have heard some parents select virtual 100 percent and in others, in-person for all their children.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest four key topic areas schools should implement to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the reopening of school’s plan. These key areas include:

  • Promoting behaviors that reduce that spread (e.g. social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks).
    • Maintaining healthy environments (e.g. ensuring proper ventilation, cleaning, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces).
    • Maintaining healthy operations (e.g. staggering schedules, keeping students in small groups).
    • Preparing for when someone gets sick.

After reviewing the reopening plans considering the above key topic areas, as well as other factors outlined in past safety articles, you and your family may prefer the virtual learning mode. Let us review some suggested questions by the CDC you may want to consider in determining the feasibility of virtual learning for you and your family. 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 should provide clarity whether virtual is the best learning option for you and your family. The questions are:

– I can work while my child is not in school (i.e., can still successfully do my job or I am able to telework).

I have access to reliable internet and a device, such as a computer or tablet, which my child can use for virtual learning.
– I  can supervise or identify someone who can supervise my child during periods of virtual/at home learning.
– My child has a space where I live that is free of distractions during school hours.
– My school provides a virtual learning option that allows students to have real-time interactions with their teachers (e.g., have live instruction).
– My child’s learning style and needs are compatible with digital modes of learning.

In deciding how best to Keep an Eye on Safety during these unusual times and circumstances, you must be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable and tailored to meet the needs of you and your household.