Opinion | The Pittsburgh Public Faculties should not reopen till the autumn

I participated from 2015 to 2019 Allderdice High School, that’s part of the Pittsburgh Public School District and has nearly 1,500 students.

In a normal school year, most classrooms have close to 40 students and not enough space to put backpacks between chairs. The building isn’t very clean, with dirt and grime often combined with a lack of soap, stable doors, and working locks in bathrooms. Many teachers had to pay for their own teaching materials. The idea of ​​this building Opening next week It’s annoying to hear, not just for me, but for many families who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.

Allderdice is part of the town’s school district, which enrolls in the area 25,000 students. This school district thinks that’s fine to open again and put your unvaccinated majority of students and vulnerable families. Pittsburgh Public Schools also currently has no vaccination tracking for staff and teachers.

Many people think schools can reopen because of children are less likely to catch and transmit the virus. In addition to intercepting COVID-19, students can pass it on to their family members, and complications from the virus itself can arise cause permanent organ damage. Just because the virus may not kill a child doesn’t mean you should put them at risk of compromised lung function for the rest of their life.

The first students continue to learn personally April 6th, just two months before the end of the school year. For 10 weeks of school, it is not worth putting students and their families at risk and burdening students with another routine change more heavily once they have finally stepped into the routine of online teaching.

Pittsburgh Public Schools has their students divided into four “support categories” This will revert to hybrid and personal learning at different times. The four categories of support are based on how well a student is doing academic well in an online learning environment, with students who do not perform well and kindergarten students being the first to return and students who are the best to return online last.

Schools are not just a place to study academics, but many families – especially low-income families – frequently Rely on schools for food security and childcare. There are many reasons a student can fall behind in science during the pandemic. Obviously, online courses are not for everyone, including those with attention deficit disorder / ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, or other developmental disorders have an additional level of frustration with online learning. For these students, online schooling is detrimental to their education and may be a better option in person if they are not immunocompromised or with someone who is.

Those who are immunocompromised or living with whoever it is are likely to experience high levels of stress, which can make it much harder to focus and get the job done. Many students also mourn the deaths of loved ones lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, which does not help get high grades. Returning to personal school with only a month or two left in the school year will not improve learning. Dear, The lack of a consistent routine can actually lead to a persistent decline in academic performance due to a readjustment phase.

We all know how different personal school is from online school. It’s almost a different world. I can sit in any position I want and express all of my inner opinions out loud without anyone hearing me. After a year in online school, it will be difficult for everyone to get back to face-to-face classes as we have gotten used to our current attitudes.

Think about how nervous you felt on the first day of school – assuming your first day of school wasn’t this year and out of the way. Multiply that fear and then spread it over an extended period of time as your body and mind adjust to a personal learning environment with two-layer masks, the stress of potentially getting sick and not being able to sit in it 6 feet of your friends, in Pittsburgh’s case.

60 Minutes did a piece last Sunday what it actually takes to get the students back to schooland examined the studies conducted on how COVID-19 spreads in a classroom. Marietta City Schools in Georgia have been a kind of guinea pig for CDC studies of how the virus spreads around a school and how it can most effectively be prevented. The CDC found cases are more common in younger students than in middle school, as elementary school classes are better suited to studying with students who are close together. Marietta’s schools have been partially open since September when COVID-19 tests became widely available. Students can stay at home if they wish.

But reopening schools is also a slippery slope. Grant Rivera, Marietta’s superintendent, enforces the wearing of masks in the district, but said “As soon as you open these doors, the desire to get back to normal pulls the mask cords.” Athletes want to play their sports, bands want to play, and kids want to talk to their friends over lunch, and before you know it, COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire. This is evident in the recently reported cases of COVID-19 at Allderdice related to basketball.

Marietta spent more than $ 7.5 million Adapt your school district to a pandemic-proof environment. Partitions separate desks, facilities are constantly cleaned, library books are quarantined after they are returned, and students taking the bus to school wear a radio frequency ID tag so they can easily be notified when they are nearby by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Exposed students must be quarantined for seven to ten days. Still, teachers and students have tested positive for COVID-19, which means even more restrictions and adjustments would be needed to create a truly safe school environment – if at all possible.

Doing all of this at school for just two months just doesn’t seem worth it when that money can be used to keep school as safe as it can be for the fall, when students and their families are larger Probability to be vaccinated.

Dalia Maeroff writes mainly on questions of psychology, education, culture and environmental protection. Write to her [email protected].

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