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As I See It

Reopen schools? There are no easy answers



There are no easy answers. Should schools reopen, and if so, how? Most school districts, including La Crosse, have put together some possible plans for a September reopen, but have yet to make a final decision. They are consulting with local health experts to get the latest information which could force a change in plans. Some say school should reopen, because kids need to, and want to, go back to school. There is evidence that the distance learning model adopted for the most recent term didn’t see kids learn all that much. Disadvantaged children learned even less. It is a burden on parents who are at home with their kids all day, and in addition to being a mom or dad, also have to be a teacher. For working parents, it is expensive to find child care if schools remain shuttered. But if schools do reopen, it would hardly be the same as before. Going to school some days, learning from home on others, no cafeteria lunch, kids staying in the same classroom all day, always wearing masks. Trying to teach music, or play sports would be tricky. And of course the greatest risk to reopening is the spread of the coronavirus, that could force schools that do open to close again. Perhaps the best answer is to provide flexibility. Let parents who want to send their kids to school to do so, while letting others learn from home. But realizing that whatever plan they do adopt, could suddenly have to change the next day.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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