With the spread of the Coronavirus far more severe than when distance learning was substituted for the dangers of classroom instruction, ISR can’t help but question the wisdom of International Schools summoning kids and teachers back to the classroom.
Are YOU ready to go back? Beyond some parents’ resistance to their kids wearing masks and a noted lack of social distancing internationally, there is much to take into account when deciding whether it’s wise to reunite with your students:
Can Your School Admin Answer the Following Questions?
• What happens if a teacher tests positive? Will they need to self isolate for 14 days. Is that time off covered? Will every student the teachers have been in contact with need to do the same?
• What happens if someone living in or working in the same home as a teacher (spouse, child, housekeeper) tests positive? Does that teacher need to take 14 days off to quarantine?
• If the need arises, how will the school find a substitute teacher willing to work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students?
• What if a substitute teacher is diagnosed with COVID-19? Does each student in each class they were in have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?
• What if a student tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Does every parent get notified who is infected and when? Or will schools just send “may have been in contact” emails all year long?
• What is this stress going to do to teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they provide? What are the long-term effects on students and teachers of consistently being stressed out?
• How will students and faculty be affected when the first teacher in their school dies from Covid-19? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first child?
Just like politicians, an administrator may employ broad, sweeping statements to garner confidence, yet fail to demonstrate an executable plan for achieving the stated objective. Imagine an administrator telling parents that the safety of their children is a top priority, yet no emergency evacuation plan is in place. Telling students to “run for safety when a siren blows” is not a plan for safety and certainly won’t be helpful in a pandemic. Likewise, there is no substitute for a solid plan in the face of Covid-19. Hoping for the BEST and failing to prepare for probable eventualities is a surefire recipe for disaster. Can your school admin answer these important questions?
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