As the numbers of diagnosed COVID cases wanes and more Americans are being vaccinated, the desire to re-open schools seems to be increasing. In a recent Pew Research poll, more Americans believe that students need in-person interaction to continue their academic progress:
Yet, in the same poll, 59% of respondents also believe schools should wait to reopen until all teachers who want the COVID vaccine have received it.
However, while schools may reopen, if students and families (and educators) are given a choice to remain virtual or return to the classroom, will they return?
Teachers confront the dilemma of being vaccinated, yet their children and partners are not yet eligible for the vaccine. So, while they may be exposed at school and immune to the virus, they may unwittingly then transmit the virus to their families.
Furthermore, many secondary school students want to remain at home. Some appreciate the freedom to commute in five minutes before the first “bell” from bed to desk, eat a snack at will, or not have to request a hall pass just to use the bathroom. For others, their friends will remain at home (social benefit of attending school), so why return to school?
Finally, parents worry their children will be exposed to the virus, knowing that in the discomfort of wearing masks, kids may likely take them off. Yet they are also concerned about their children’s continued isolation and potential toll on their mental well-being.
Eventually, the pandemic-induced crisis and radical shift in how the educational product is distributed across a variety of demographics, will revert back to the mean, and then the cost as well as the benefit of this transformational shift in pedagogy will begin to be assessed.
For more information about how Creative Marbles Consultancy can help students and parents navigate through the complex college admissions process, especially in the new normal of K-12 education, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy