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School This Fall

Mark Tobola

School This Fall

Columns
2 mins
9/30/2020

One of the discussions that's been raging and very polarizing is what to do about school this fall. And I have to admit that as people take one of three general viewpoints, I find myself in agreement with all of them. I can see the cases clearly as they are explained to me, from each point of view. And that makes me REALLY uncertain which of them is TRULY the most wise course of action!

Each time I hear the cases presented, it falls into one of three options. Send the children to school as usual, some sort of socially distanced or partial school attendance and online schooling, and 100% online schooling. And the reasons have been huge. When I hear why folks back one of these options, I walk away going, "Oh hey I never thought of that, so this option addresses that perfectly...."  

Recently I was even asked in a state-wide poll where I stood on this topic. I had to take the 4th option, which was listed as "Unsure."  And I do hate to admit it, but I simply do not know nor cannot tell what is the best course of action here.  If I were to boil it down to the most simple terms, I feel like it would be to compare it to being on a strict diet and going to a massive buffet:  You know what you want to adhere to for your diet, but yet, look at all those choices that are calling your name!

In the end, it seems we can all agree on a few things about this whole situation. I feel like the first and foremost thing is to care for the Children first. The more they have a safe and loving environment where they can thrive, learn, and grow, the better. Secondly, is the health concerns, which I'll leave at that, as someone smarter than I will have to advise us on how to proceed there! And finally, their education cannot be forsaken because of a virus. They still need to be able to learn.

And there are so many ways to solve these issues and handle this situation that will accomplish all of the goals above. Online learning is far simpler now than it ever was before, and many of our public and private schools are successfully making use of that option already. In-person classes, be it full time or part time, are viable with proper approaches. And because we can make all options viable, that's what makes it even harder to say "no" to any one of them when all of them sound like a good idea. It is truly one of those "six in one, half a dozen in the other" options to me.


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Mark Tobola

Mark Tobola is a resident of Thorp and weekly columnist.

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