I’ve generally felt that the Park City School District (PCSD) has done the best job they can of managing back-to-school in a Corona world. There are a lot of moving parts, people, directives, orders, and government organizations that are all interacting to dictate the path forward in our schools. It’s not perfect, but there has not been one day where I worried about sending my kids to elementary school.
Part of that is that the PCSD was providing daily updates on cases at each of our schools. As a parent, it gives you a feel for how it is going. Unfortunately, yesterday that stopped. It appears they have reverted to updating cases weekly. So, the next update comes this Friday.
That change comes at a bad time. Summit County Covid-19 numbers are jumping. We used to have a case or two per day — sometimes five. Now it seems we are way up. Eighteen yesterday. Twenty the day before. Ten the day before that. The trend ain’t our friend.
I only imagine that as we head into winter it will only become worse.
Not having daily numbers from the school district causes a few problems. First, parents have a right to know. I was talking with a friend last night about the change and his point was, “I need to know the situation so I can make the best decisions for my family.” Imagine that you are living in a multi-generational household, with children, parents, grandparents, etc. It would be helpful to know the risk at your child’s school. You could make a decision to keep your child in-person or shift them to the remote option to protect the grandparents and great-grandparents.
Second, in an absence of information, rumors flourish. For instance, I have heard members of local sports teams are going remote, so they aren’t subject to quarantine rules, so players can play. I’ve heard that the dates associated with the student being eligible for coming back to school have been “hidden” to mask the actual numbers so the school can remain in-person. Almost weekly, one of my kid reports on the number of children who aren’t in their class and say “they probably have Corona Virus.”
Is any of that true? I don’t know. However, I do know that in the absence of order there is disorder.
It’s not a failure if we need to go remote for a period. It is what it is. We are in a pandemic.
PCSD, do what you do. You teach. Teach the kids. Teach the parents. Provide information. It will be far better off from a public perspective if we inch up to 15 cases at a school, publish the stats, and we eventually close, versus coming out of the left field. If we are inching that way, then parents know they need to adjust work schedules for the inevitable. If you tell the parents the day before, then it severely impacts the community. What about their jobs? How does the family cope? The school district will be negatively impacting families.
PCSD, please publish the data you get daily, and then we are all in the same boat. We can figure it out together. I know many people who have come here recently don’t believe it, but this is still a small town that often waves to each other, smiles, and is friendly.
Of course, some people will complain. They always do. But the school district needs to do the right thing.
By publishing daily information on Covid-19 cases by school, parents, teachers, and other administrators can make decisions.
Park City School District, if you doubt that daily numbers are best, just imagine that during some random evening in November you get a call from the Summit County Health Department saying you are closed down. Imagine the backlash you are going to get with providing teachers and parents with 8 hours of notice that a school is remote. Imagine the impact to teachers trying to figure out what they will do remotely, tomorrow. Imagine the impact to families. It will be a sh*t show that takes away many days from education.
Instead, imagine that daily numbers are provided and people can prepare for the event as we near it. They see we are approaching the 15 student threshold and plan for the inevitable. It won’t be perfect but it is literally the best we can do.
In the long-run, being open and honest, will work out better for everyone.