January 18, 2022
As a parent and community leader I’m incredibly concerned about the negative impact that school closures and virtual learning have had on student mental health. I believe that schools should remain open for in-person instruction whenever and wherever possible, although I recognize that the learning process will be disrupted this month under any scenario.
All of our students have experienced losses of one kind or another over the last two years – social, emotional and academic. Unfortunately, data shows that some of our most vulnerable children – children from communities that were already facing enormous challenges before the pandemic – are the most heavily impacted by learning loss. That is heartbreaking to me.
But the good news is that we also know the vaccinations are exceptionally good at preventing serious illness from Covid. Although it still feels very bleak, I do think we’ve come a long way from where we were a year ago, and we’ve gotten better at certain aspects of controlling the virus.
We are going to get through this wave. It would be unrealistic to say there won’t be significant impacts to learning while we ride it out – no doubt we still have a ways to go.
But I think that now is the time as a community to come together on behalf of the long-term well being of our kids by trying to keep them in school as long as staffing is adequate.