The governor announced today that school won't be back in session this year.
I think it was the right decision, in fact I wish he had made the decision earlier, but it is still a gut-punch. We haven't talked to the kids about it yet, but we also hadn't talked to them about going back, so I don't think this will be a shock for them.
The thing that I find hardest about this is that both of our kids have outstanding teachers this year, and I feel cheated out of the time with them. They are both trying their very best to maintain continuity with their classrooms via online learning, but it is not working very well for our kids. There's nobody to blame for this - our education system wasn't built for this kind of teaching, and our kids aren't prepared to fully participate in what's being offered.
Both our kids went to the same preschool and had the same preschool teacher; this has been our third year with her. She is phenomenal and we feel a deep connection to her and her classroom. Though we'll still have our Zoom meetings with her I am very sad that we're losing two months of precious time under her care, and I am irrationally upset that we won't have a preschool graduation. (Believe me, I understand that this is a triviality compared to the middle school, high school and college kids who are missing out on their commencements.) Our son also receives some developmental services at school which there isn't a plan to provide, so he is missing out on some important time with specialists.
My daughter is precocious and willful. She's not going to stop learning just because school isn't in session, but she also isn't going to do the suggested assignments without a teacher looking over her shoulder. It is like pulling teeth getting her to attend the Zoom meetings with her class, and nearly impossible to get her to do 'boring' assignments. The saving grace is that she is learning a ton on her own. She may not learn to spell as soon as we'd like, but she'll have learned plenty of valuable skills and information while school is out.
Our principal (not just my daughter's principal, but all of ours...) sent the parents a video message tonight. She reminded us that the school's faculty and staff are still there working hard, that the students would be all right, and that we need to cut ourselves some slack as parents. Hearing it from her was very comforting. We are fortunate to have so many remarkable educators on our side right now. It's funny because I barely see or interact with any of them in 'normal' life, but I miss them all terribly. I can only imagine how my kids feel...