By Evelyn Aquino
Starting this Monday, March 29, preschool through 2nd grade students in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District returned back to campus for in-person learning on a hybrid learning schedule. 3rd to 5th grade students are expected to be back after spring break on Monday, April 12, 2021. Parents were given the option to either return their kids back to in-person school or continue digitally online.
In my opinion, schools should not reopen yet; instead, they should focus on how to improve for the following school year instead of possibly putting kids at risk of getting the virus right now. If one person–either a student, teacher, or staff member–got the virus, they would have to close again or send multiple people into quarantine, which could possibly lead to kids falling behind once again. It will also take time for students to adjust to the sudden change of going from online to in-person, and there are fewer than 40 days of school left.
Although young kids are less likely to transmit the virus, it is still important that the schools continue following safety precautions. They should still be 6 feet away from each other while wearing masks, and teachers and custodians should clean any surfaces that the students would most likely touch, such as the door handles, desks, books, and any electronic devices.
It was believed that many parents didn’t want their children to return to school when cases were at the peak. Now, around 50% of parents want their children to return to school since cases are decreasing and L.A. County is slowly reopening since it approached the red tier. Opening schools in general was something that wasn’t settled knowing the risks of getting the virus. Reopening elementary schools was the first approach because they only stay in one room all day.
Young kids will most likely have difficulties following the same precautions an adult has to follow. It is also a concern for kids with special needs. Most might be capable of following safety protocols, but others might not.
It might be better if schools didn’t reopen for the rest of the school year; but the opening has begun, and now we wait and see how things go.