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I've seen the petitions.  I know parents and students who protested at the Edison Building in Rochester.  I have had my inbox blow up with individuals making sure that I saw the conversations.  I know how much parents and students want to go back to in-person learning at the Rochester Public Schools.  But...here is an unpopular opinion...not all kids (or parents) want that...and that is ok too.

Today at 4 pm, I have to tell Rochester Public Schools if my middle-school and high-school students will be returning to their schools for hybrid learning OR if they will continue with distance learning.  I can tell you for a fact that this is not an easy decision and personally, I don't know that we have enough information to give an educated decision.  I feel like I'm flipping a coin and taking a guess at what to do with my kids' life right now.  I don't even know WHEN my kids would be going back to school but yet I have to make a decision now just in case that is possible in 2021.

A few more questions that I have that there aren't answers for right now are:

  • Will the teachers and staff all have COVID vaccinations before students return?
  • What date would my child return to school?
  • How is social distancing going to be enforced in all areas?
  • If a student doesn't follow social distancing guidelines, what are the consequences?
  • If another student in the classroom or a staff member in the classroom demonstrates any symptoms, will communication be provided to families.  What does that timeline look like?

So, what do my kids want to do?  Actually, they are really concerned about their teachers and don't want to accidentally get them sick.  I applaud them for thinking about those around them and their safety.  Do my kids miss their friends?  Of course!  Are they ok wearing a mask all day?  They aren't huge fans, especially since they wear glasses, but they can make it happen.  So, what do they want to do - hybrid or continue with distance learning?  They will be so glad when this whole distance learning thing is part of their history books rather than their reality.  At 3:50 pm, I'll know what their choice will be...but making a decision with little information has been difficult for me and for them.

Whatever decision is picked for your child and family, it is ok...but your choice may not be the best choice for all...and that is ok too.  This is a time when we can show true community and unfortunately, I've seen a lot of the opposite displayed by adults while this hot topic has been in discussion.  We are all first-timers in this so let's give some grace and show support to one another.

Hugs to all of you that are wrestling with these decisions for our kids!  If you'd like to chat more you can find me easily on my Facebook page - Jessica On The Radio - or on my Instagram page here.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on Y105FM's Early Morning Show with James Rabe and Jessica Williams 

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