I’ve said before that I commend the Park City School District on giving people the heads up that schools will be open for business this fall. However, I am hearing from teachers with major concerns about safety. I also get that.
We won’t really know the details about how schools will operate until the Park City School District formalizes plans. Those will take time.
I don’t have answers, but the way I am starting to look at it is in the form of a question. Is in-person teaching an essential “business”?
I know the people working at most medical facilities are considered essential. I know that police and firefighters are essential personnel. I know that the people checking me out at the supermarket are considered essential.
The argument could be made that at-home learning, with teacher assistance, fills the need. I think many of those who experienced it in the spring would say the quality was as good as could be expected given the circumstances, but it wasn’t up to normal standards. Yes, some teachers did a bang-up job. However, from many conversations I have had, at-home learning would have to be generally more effective this fall and MUCH more than a stop-gap measure to make it a viable alternative.
Frankly, from what I have heard around our community, the district was given a pass on education this spring from parents. It doesn’t sound like they will be as forgiving this fall if education is at-home. That could lead to a number of issues. I think the Administrators at the Park City School District know that.
All of that said, it doesn’t alleviate the fear of teachers. Above, I’ve written about parents’ expectations and learning. Teachers have to deal with that, but they also have to consider the their health and that of their families.
It’s not easy.
I’d bet we are about to hear from the Park City Education Association on the matter. Get ready to read a number of editorials in the Park Record. Of course, if you want to write something here on the Park Rag, please email us. I want to represent as many viewpoints as possible. We’ve had over 1500 views on our story about PC schools opening. So, you will have an audience.
My guess is that things are about to get more polarized across the community. It will be interesting to see how this all works out.