Many kids across the metro Detroit region are heading back to school this week. This new school year is unlike any other as communities across the country are still managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a lot of parents that have to work. Not a lot of people can afford to have someone watch their kids while they’re out.” — Chastity Pratt, Wall Street Journal
Some schools are welcoming students back to the classroom, other districts are offering some mix of in-person and virtual learning and a lot of schools are going virtual-only to keep kids safe during a global pandemic.
Listen: What does the first day of school look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Chastity Pratt, Education Bureau Chief at the Wall Street Journal, says parents and educators are having to make a lot of hard decisions around in-person instruction. Health and economic outcomes are being weighed on an individual basis, accounting for the varied approach across districts.
“We have a lot of parents that have to work. Not a lot of people can afford to have someone watch their kids while they’re out working at any number of service jobs or jobs that require them to work in person,” says Pratt.
She says the success of safe in-person learning will be dependent on the health and safety protocols implemented in schools as well as compliance outside of the classroom. “A lot of these efforts could be undone by what’s happening in the community, outside of schools,” says Pratt on the importance of safe social practices outside of school hours.