The province announced on May 15 that schools will be reopening on June 1.
This is a really promising development, and we think parents should seriously consider sending their kids back to class.
Physically sending children back to school is still voluntary, with the ultimate decision resting with parents. There are some children who should probably not head back to the classroom just yet, such as those with underlying health conditions. But for most kids the risk will be minimal.
Parents must weigh the fact that there are very few active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island at this time, so the risk of a child catching it from a peer or from a teacher or other staff member is very low. If this wasn’t the case, it would be a whole other ballgame.
Parents also must weigh the fact that this isn’t going to be class as usual. There will be physical distancing and sanitary measures in place. It will involve widening children’s social contacts from what they have been of late, but that’s going to have to happen sometime.
We cannot live forever in a bubble.
Parents have to weigh risks for their children all the time that walk the line between preparing them to live in the world and be resilient, and making sure they can handle the situations in which they find themselves. Sending them back to school is a risk worth taking.
At this point, it seems certain that schools will be back in session come fall, and it doesn’t seem likely that the health situation will be very much different then. We’re going to have to find a new normal in the classroom just like everywhere else. We might as well do it now.
We don’t believe that our provincial health officials, who have done such an excellent job of keeping our experience of this virus manageable, would be suggesting a return to school if they didn’t believe it could be done with minimal risk. Time to poke our heads out of our comfortable nests and venture out into the world again.
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