Omicron has dealt one big blow to the school children. When everything was springing to normal, Omicron has posed a bigger threat. St. Louis Park Public Schools in the suburbs of Minneapolis was holding offline classes, despite the spread of the Covid-19, Delta variant.
Implications Of Omicron On School Re-Opening
However, the district administration finally gave in, owing to rising infections of the Omicron variant. The schools have closed again till the new semester starts on January 3rd. According to Superintendent Astein Osei, everyone has a feeling of exhaustion that is taking on the mental state as well.
Across the districts, parents and children were already having a harrowing time completing the syllabus. But still, the air of recovery around the globe had prompted the schools to operate normally. In between, certain disruptions always hounded the school administration, and students in more ways than one.
Covid-19 exposure had also sent some kids back home. Moreover, the campuses also erupted with increased violence on the campus. Teachers also had to fight with student misbehavior and defiance. To add to the school’s woes, parents fought with the administration over racism, public health, as well as other impending issues.
But now, schools have to deal with the onslaught of the Omicron variant, which seems to be more contagious. The schools are again planning to again return to virtual sessions. Dan Domenech, executive director of School Super indent’s Association says with a sad note that things will go back to virtual once again.
However, the reality is that everybody wants the schools to remain open. But there are logistical challenges all the way. The Omicron infection curves will be a huge deciding factor now. Everybody seems to be in a wait-and-watch mode now.
Prince George’s County School District which is in Maryland announced last week, that it is going back to virtual classes. The reason is an increase in Covid variant Omicron. That will lead to more than lac students returning to online classes.
District CEO Monica Goldson says that it allows everyone from the school administration to take care of their health while delivering the classroom sessions. The conditions of the classrooms look towards the same direction in Newark, New Jersey, New York City, and Pennsylvania. These schools also seem to be taking a similar stance on the status of classes.
However, the main problems remain that virtual classes do not solve the issues in learning. It is far away from what academic learning is all about. Moreover, it has a huge impact on the social and emotional well-being of the students.
It can be a nightmare for students who do not have a supporting household or stable web connectivity. Black and Latino’s students are the worst sufferers, as they lack strong support and infrastructure at home.
If reports are to be referred to, the kids have been exposed to a lot of trauma. In Southern Los Angeles, there are various communities of color, who are facing issues over closing. So, a complete shutdown may not be an immediate possibility.
Likewise, some smaller schools are not going online, as it is detrimental to students’ psyche. They are just turning the regular school hours into vacation hours.
Most schools are starting an early holiday season, a week ahead of the Christmas celebrations. This is the current district responses collected as Burbio, the company tracking schools since Covid-19 erupted.
However, January is the month to watch out for, especially as all K-12 schools look set to reopen again. The additional break is a welcome change for some as an emotional as well as a physical break.