I know that you are all wondering and worrying about our students returning to school in the fall. My son will be entering fourth grade, and I share your concerns.
Guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that was shared widely on social media platforms appears to have led to the surge in discussion on this topic.
I have read and heard comments from students and parents regarding the educational options for next year. Discussions center around home schooling, online learning, going back to school but wearing masks and following other protocols and other various educational options.
As a Cambridge City School Board of Education member, I want to encourage parents and students not to make hasty decisions until you have the opportunity to see exactly what educational options are being offered by our district, and remember that we have always provided a safe learning environment and a quality education for our students.
As of the writing of this column, no clear guidance from the Ohio Department of Education or Governor Mike DeWine regarding the start of the upcoming school year has been given to school districts.
So far, the guidance and regulations from our state leaders has been based on data, and as we have witnessed, data are changing every day.
In the less than three months since schools closed, our state leaders issued a "shelter in place" order and have lifted that order. They have ordered businesses to close and allowed them to re-open. They have limited elective medical procedures and removed those limitations. We have even witnessed protocols be issued and revised in the same week.
To make any decisions regarding what will take place in late August based on information available now is not prudent. Trying to predict what is going to happen in two months during the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge challenge.
As a parent, I would love to know if my child will be going to school or learning from home. I would like to know if I need to arrange childcare or if he will be in school. I would like to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if he goes to school, he will not get sick.
The uncertainty is causing high levels of anxiety for all parents, as well as our teachers and our administrators. The extreme positions we hear and read about daily, do not provide us any peace. Unfortunately, I do not believe there will be a clear resolution for any of us.
As we head into June, we still have two-plus months before the scheduled start of the school year. It takes at least that much time to prepare the delivery system of an entire school district. That is why our administrators and educators are preparing for whatever delivery system they may have to use to educate students next school year.
Our administrators are considering all possible options and the logistical challenges that go with those options. It is a process they have gone through many times when contemplating the best way to educate our students. I promise you that decisions and preparations regarding next school years are being made with the best interest of our students in mind.
I ask that our students and parents remain patient. I ask that you follow the lead of our district administrators and prepare for all possible options to the best of your ability. I ask that you have confidence in our district leaders to make wise decisions that are in the best interest of our students, as we have demonstrated that we can do.
Do you have questions? Are there specific topics that you would like to see addressed? You are encouraged to share your ideas, concerns, and your praise of our school district: email@example.com.
Amy Kissinger is a member of the Cambridge City School District Board of Education. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the entire Cambridge City Schools Board of Education or of other members of the board, only those of the author.