First Day of School, COVID Style

It’s a week later than we would have been having the kids go back to school, but they’re officially started now. It’s crazy to think about everything that’s happened since their school went on a planned two week “pause” back in March. That two weeks turned into the rest of the year, and the summer is gone by now as well. I’m grateful to be living in a part of the country where there are still low numbers. (6 active cases in my county at the moment. 53 total since this started, with 1 death. Our population in 2010 was just over 30,000. On the New York Times tracker, that puts us at .6 cases per 100,000.)

Tomas (11th grade) will be going to school in person every Monday and Tuesday. The other three days of the week, he’ll be attending all his classes synchronously (Wednesday and Thursday are for the second half of the alphabet to go in person, and Friday everyone is virtual). MC (2nd grade) and Daniela (7th grade) will be going in person every other day. The days they’re not there in person, they’ll be working on their studies asynchronously. For now, there are no after school activities, although sports is still up in the air. (For the record, I will be disappointed if football is allowed to proceed but things like music and drama are not. If they can make sports work, they can make other activities work. I believe solutions could be found.)

I have no idea how this will all work in practice. I believe our school district has gotten grant money that should pay for laptops for all kids from 7th grade up. It should be . . . interesting to see how each class handles the different constraints. I try to be as good of a support structure for my kids as I can, but we’re heading into uncharted waters now. Who knows how it will all shake out.

But really, I’m happy to have some semblance of normalcy returning to our lives, even if it’s also in many ways unsettling. We’ve all been home together for so long that it felt very strange to think we’d all be heading different ways today. (Ferris, our puppy extraordinaire, is not happy with the change. I’m working at home today, and I finally had to put him in his crate. There’s only so much attention I can give a puppy and still get work done. We’ll have to see how that goes too . . .)

Anyway. That’s all I have time for today, but here’s hoping this is the start of a successful school year, even if it will be very different.


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