Re-Opening Quandary

As the numbers of diagnosed COVID cases wanes and more Americans are being vaccinated, the desire to re-open schools seems to be increasing. In a recent Pew Research poll, more Americans believe that students need in-person interaction to continue their academic progress: 

Pew Research Center, Feburary 24, 2021

Yet, in the same poll, 59% of respondents also believe schools should wait to reopen until all teachers who want the COVID vaccine have received it. 

However, while schools may reopen, if students and families (and educators) are given a choice to remain virtual or return to the classroom, will they return

Teachers confront the dilemma of being vaccinated, yet their children and partners are not yet eligible for the vaccine. So, while they may be exposed at school and immune to the virus, they may unwittingly then transmit the virus to their families

Furthermore, many secondary school students want to remain at home. Some appreciate the freedom to commute in five minutes before the first “bell” from bed to desk, eat a snack at will, or not have to request a hall pass just to use the bathroom. For others, their friends will remain at home (social benefit of attending school), so why return to school?

Finally, parents worry their children will be exposed to the virus, knowing that in the discomfort of wearing masks, kids may likely take them off. Yet they are also concerned about their children’s continued isolation and potential toll on their mental well-being

Eventually, the pandemic-induced crisis and radical shift in how the educational product is distributed across a variety of demographics, will revert back to the mean, and then the cost as well as the benefit of this transformational shift in pedagogy will begin to be assessed. 

For more information about how Creative Marbles Consultancy can help students and parents navigate through the complex college admissions process, especially in the new normal of K-12 education, contact us at Creative Marbles Consultancy

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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