A Story with Many Truths

Covid-19 school decisions. What is right for you?

I know there are two sides to any coin. In this pandemic, it feels as if we are rolling dice. But, not just any dice. We are playing with a large game dice with many, many possibilities.

The issue of whether to send children back to school, home school, or some variation of those choices is a major family decision. I don’t have children or grandchildren I am personally responsible for, and I am very grateful for that. But I still have a stake in the issue through friends and family.

A decision must be made, and there is not enough, or there is conflicting information available. Here’s my process. Here’s how I do it.

Often other people present choices. They might be friends, family, folks in positions of authority, or folks claiming expertise. I first look for alternatives that aren’t offered. My school district, at its broadest, the province of Alberta, has set a deadline for parents to decide between homeschooling or in-person schooling. But a choice, poorly offered, is that your decision can be remade towards the end of each semester.

As things are changing very quickly, and The Blog might soon go out of date, do not use the detailed facts as being current for your decision making. Staying up to date is the first part of any decision-making process.

Two physical locations that need to be evaluated are the school and the home – in the context of a safe and educational experience.

The school probably has done an enormous about of safety implementations. You need to know what those are, to help you make an informed decision. In such a situation, it is easier to identify what more the school could have done. Factoring in what more they might do, increasing the risk of making a poor decision. Currently, the schools are settled into their covid-19 response.

Now take a look at home. What is the physical set up? It can be as safe as you possibly can make it. So, let’s spend a moment looking at the teaching/learning set-up. Is it the kitchen table? Do you have a room or permanent table that doesn’t need to be put away each day? Can you control the noise/distraction level, or is it in the same area of the gaming equipment? I’m sure you’ll think of other practical considerations. Remember, this is for at least 3 months.

You can overthink all the things that can go wrong. What ifs, I call them. What if a child gets a sniffle at school, will my child need to stay home for 14 days? What if the teacher tests positive for covid-19? Remember, you are probably the teacher if you are homeschooling.

Lastly, what about ongoing contact with grandparents and others. You have choices here not offered by anyone. Here’s one option from me. Keep others away from your immediate cohorts and loved ones such as grandparents for 1 month, then reassess. You will then have more realistic info.

Well, this Blog is only about my process, not my decisions. Truth of process.

Give it a bit of a think. What is your truth?

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
Volunteer