Stangl

Even though we are in the middle of summer, a time when school should be at the farthest point away from our minds, there’s been a great deal of talk about what the school year will look like in the fall.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wane and surge, everyone from the President of the United States to members of the school board are thinking about what the upcoming school year should look like. Parents are being surveyed, scenarios are being discussed and plans are being made.

When schools closed last spring and education switched from classrooms to the internet and parents went from helping with homework to becoming an unpaid member of the teaching staff, it became apparent that a better way to teach students was needed.

Districts did their best to get computers or other devices in the hands of students as well as get paper lesson plans and meals in the hands of students. There were plenty of hiccups, but considering the short notice and lack of direction from the state and federal governments, I believe they did an admirable job. After all, until now, there more than likely wasn’t a plan in place for a pandemic.

I’m hedging my bet on that plan because if there is anything public schools do well, it’s planning. With the logistics of transporting, caring and feeding of hundreds of children for five days a week, nine months of the year, you can bet there’s been a lot of planning. Oh, and there’s the whole education thing to consider as well. They do a good job with that, also, in my opinion.

There is no shortage of opinions on what the upcoming school year should look like. State government has provided some scenarios and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came out in the spring with guidelines as to what should be done when students return to school.

But, much like the virus itself, thoughts and opinions on what school will look like have been mutating.

Last week, Robert R. Redfield, the head of the CDC said that the recommendations his agency developed in the spring were simply guidelines and not rules. Redfield appeared at the same press conference where President Trump said he would do everything in his power to ensure students returned to the classroom this fall. The president called the CDC guidelines “very tough and expensive” and was urging the agency to revise their recommendations.

Guidance from the CDC and the Department of Education says “Each school and each community will have different needs and should implement the strategies best designed to meet them.”

Even though it may seem like there has been mixed messaging here, that last quote is the one I believe we should focus on as our local officials formulate their plans for the fall.

The professionals we have hired to care for and educate our children will do their best to find a solution to the situation we are facing. They have always had the best interest of our community and children in mind. This year will be no different.

It is always important to support our school officials, but this year, I believe it is crucial we let them do the job they were hired to do.

They will have a plan. We all need to support it.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@theameryfreepress.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.