The Star-Herald

Students need a better quarantine learning plan

To the editor:

Our students wear masks, they socially distance, they have assigned seating and even more recently pooled testing began. Each layer of COVID mitigation has been mostly accepted, though the hope is that we will see an increase to in-person learning opportunity.

We have seen an increase to quarantine, over 500 students to date. Teachers are stating that remote learning would be too much for them, they simply lack their leaders’ support. The fact is, returning students are having an equally difficult time keeping up in their classes. Working aggressively to learn current material while catching up on past material and studying for tests [and] quizzes, they are using their learning workshops, study halls and even recess, and still face serious consequences if they fall behind or fail their core classes. They are emotionally struggling through this period. In return, teachers are feeling burnt out and exhausted from current policy. 

The obligation to support parents during quarantine learning is equally frustrating for them, as it is for those parents at home with their paper packets.  As long as we have enforced quarantines, we will have a need to offer an off-campus learning opportunity. We need to adapt to this changed learning system. 

I am asking that the monetary allocations from the ESSER III grant be used for improving quarantine learning, and developing a way to support your students better in quarantine.  What we need is a plan that defines roles/responsibilities and ensures accountability for both parents and educators. A learning plan that includes live classroom logins for core classes, paper packets given by request only, and conferences is asked for. 

I encourage educators to create a plan for their individual classrooms that support remote learning requests. As long as we have quarantines we will have quarantine learning needs. We need a remote learning  plan that benefits both teachers and parents, but ultimately is in the best interest of the students. SAD 1 needs to create a remote learning policy that is in the best interest of the student. 

Chelsea Holmes

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