Earlier this month, we surveyed our families as to what method of education they want for their children, and more than 90% asked for in-person classes. However, some families are not comfortable returning to the “brick and mortar” world. They prefer the “click” of an online approach. That is why Eaton Academy will be open this fall for both in-person and online learning. We will be a brick & click school.
Balancing Facts & Opinions
Making these decisions means balancing facts and opinions on a wide range of topics:
- What’s best for children’s overall education?
- What’s best for their mental health?
- What’s best for their physical well-being?
- Can staff stay safe and healthy as they come back into the building?
- Is “generational spread” a major concern?
- How will parents be able to manage their lives if children stay home for online learning?
(See Eaton’s Academic Support Program for our answer to this question.)
The General Consensus
The general consensus seems to be that experts and laypeople alike agree that, when proper safety/health protocols are followed, children and families are better-served if students can be physically present in schools.
American Association of Pediatrics
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) has weighed in on this issue. To quote from their website:
. . . the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.
A recent article in Time magazine explores this debate. Here is an excerpt:
There are ways to help reduce risk [to staff and students], says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a pediatric infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at Stanford Medicine: precautions like social distancing, having teachers wear masks and face shields, and splitting children into smaller groups and staggering their school days can all help. (Some of those measures, especially social distancing, will be tougher in jam-packed schools or in schools with fewer resources.) ‘We have not seen transmission when you take the proper precautions,’ Maldonado says. ‘So what I would want to know as a parent is, what is my school doing to make sure those precautions are in place. And that’s the key. If the school can do it, then I would feel comfortable. If the school seems like they really don’t have their act together, or they don’t have the resources, then I might be worried about that.’
Eaton Offers a Wide Range of Academic Support
Eaton Academy’s small class sizes and abundant rooms provide a great environment in which health safety protocols can be effective. The administration has worked carefully to design and implement appropriate health policies in order to keep students and staff as safe as possible in person. For those online students, teachers are hard at work to create engaging, substantive virtual lessons. All situations cannot be answered by one school, but Eaton Academy endeavors to offer a wide range of academic support.