As of yesterday, the overly-large school district has all it’s classrooms open for live instruction. Sort of.
Some students are in face-to-face classes while some are still attending class online. Parents have the option to choose and, according to one report in the Post, only about 47% of kids are currently in the live classrooms. As for the teachers, Fairfax is using something called “concurrent instruction” to cover all the bases.
It’s been about a year since the spread of the COVID virus was declared to be a pandemic and the overly-large school district (and many others) sent everyone home to prepare for the sudden shift to online schooling. Not really an anniversary to celebrate.
Now, as they haltingly move kids and students back into physical classrooms (something I don’t expect to be complete until the fall at the earliest), there’s lots of hopeful talk about returning to “normal”. No matter how crappy that idea is.
Travel, of course, has been very limited over the past year, so I’ve been making short trips to interesting local sites never visited to photograph. In October, we discovered Fort Washington National Park in Maryland south of the District, a beautiful place for a fall photowalk.
I’m really sick of people calling what’s happening right now “the new normal”, especially when it comes to schools. Nothing about the current efforts to cobble together an online replica of the classroom will replace the traditional face-to-face experience.
Since the beginning of this mess, I’ve been reading all kinds of predictions about how American education will change as a result of the reaction to COVID-19. Some speculate that school will be drastically altered as a result of this catastrophe.
Today is the last day of the academic year here in the overly-large school district. This has been a challenging semester – for teachers, students, parents – to say the least.
Now comes the inevitable analysis of how much students have missed in the chaos of an abrupt switch to online schooling. Research cited in a New York Times article says some students have fallen “months behind”. NPR comes to similar conclusions based on a large survey of parents.