July 7, 2020 - 9:00 pm
The proposals in the plan to reopen the Clark County School District, as reported in the July 1 Review-Journal, are laughable. Could there be worse ideas at a projected cost of $115.6 million?
First, middle and high school students will attend two two-hour classes twice a week and participate in distance learning on the other three days. Even elementary students will have a similar schedule. Most teachers are not trained for distance learning. District officials are allowing about a month for teachers to be trained and to prepare for a school year that does not remotely resemble previous years.
Furthermore, teachers want direct interaction with students. Teachers are somehow expected to magically instruct in person and electronically and monitor student progress. Good luck with that. One would think the distance learning debacle this spring would be instructive for future planning.
Next, parents struggle to limit their children’s screen time, and this plan proposes three days of electronic viewing. Granted, distance learning is not the same as video games. But increased electronics means less physical contact in learning and more staring at a screen. Furthermore, many working parents are not comfortable with their teens at home unsupervised doing goodness knows what. How much learning will actually occur?
Statistics show that children are not very vulnerable to COVID-19. All school-age children can wear facemasks. For middle and high school, keep the six-period day. Shorten each period by five minutes or so and add a third lunch to facilitate social distancing. It is hard to eat wearing a face mask.