So very much to think about!
Here is another interesting article: Some Students Should Go to School, Most Should Stay Home - it is a long and detailed piece with a rather alarming (but maybe sensible) socially, racially, and economically just suggestion:
"So, what is the both/and answer to the question of how we should educate students in the midst of a global pandemic? Make schools work for the students and families who are most on the margins, who are at greatest risk if school buildings remain closed, who cannot meet their basic needs without them. Give these students full days and full weeks so that their families have a reasonable chance of being able to support them. And the rest of us stay home."
Nothing about the current situation is easy. I think that as leaders in the church we are called to support the parents and teachers and families in our congregation and community in whatever way we can.
Here are some more suggestions of things individuals and churches can do:
- during distance learning in the spring, schools were emailing families packets of worksheets and lessons. Many families do not have printers, even if they have internet. Churches can provide hotspots (see above) and also use of printers and copiers. Maybe even deliver printed materials?
- an elementary teacher was looking for an affordable place to buy scrubs (the school board has approved scrubs so that teachers can more easily disinfect their work clothes) and immediately several people offered to buy scrubs or donate some they had to this woman.
- pay library fines or unpaid lunch balances for a whole school in your community.
Churches can also support what other social service organizations are doing (with space, volunteers, or financial assistance). Check with local Boys and Girls Clubs, Head Start, community centers, the Y, homeless shelters.
I also have heard that many private schools, daycares, etc. are having parents sign a “death waiver” of sorts, in case a student gets Covid while in their program and could sue the organization. Legislation to deal with this is coming slowly.
By the way, the start of the school year has been pushed back a month in my community. Another month to pray and to plan and get ready for whatever the final answer from the school board is.