LETTER – Return to school a positive experience for this Courtenay family

School is definitely different than before, but lessons were learned in June.

Dear editor,

I’m so happy that schools reopened again. My son was very nervous about going to school.

In addition to starting a new school year, he was worried about COVID-19 and making our family sick as we have a family member with a medical condition. However, when I picked him up from school, he was full of smiles! He loved his teacher and making new friends.

School is definitely different than before, but lessons were learned in June. One change this September is that children can socialize and play together more than in June due to the cohort system. School is also more organized and cleaner than before.

Today, many children began the day with masks, but by the end of the day, most had it off, and I’m okay with that too. It’s unreasonable to expect young children to keep a mask on all day. Is it meaningless? I don’t think so. It’s good to have children get used to wearing a mask. Also with many children feeling anxiety over COVID-19, masks might give them some comfort to start the day.

School is a condensed version of society, and a public school is one of the only places where children of all social backgrounds, races and circumstances are given an equal chance to learn. Am I still worried about the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in the schools? Yes, I am, and I think it will happen, but closing the schools will have more negative outcomes. Young children do not entertain themselves or learn entirely on their own. Nor are parents capable of teaching children 24/7, unless they are committed to a homeschooling plan. Remote learning also requires equipment and resources, which not all of us have access to.

Let’s do our part to keep the schools open for those who need it.

Naoko McKee,

Courtenay

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