BY ROGINA CANNON

  1. What is your child’s name..

His name is Oliver

  1. What three concerns do you have about school re-opening in Sept?
  1. Cleanliness. With the budget the schools have I don’t see how they will be able to have the people in place to do the cleaning and sanitizing required, especially in common areas like washrooms and front entrances. I don’t feel that the teachers should have to do this as they have enough to do. 
  2. How my son’s program will be affected. His program allows extra supports for help with reading, in the past that included older students coming in for one on one time to read with him and now that probably won’t be a possibility. As well he had one on one reading time to work with his teacher or an EA and again, due to social distancing and budget cuts this may not happen. He uses a scribe for many assignments and I don’t know if this will be available to him. Another aspect of the program was his switch classes where he was able to work with students with no learning disabilities. It gave him a sense of inclusion an let him be amongst his peers. I don’t believe this will be allowed as he would be entering other classrooms an would not be part of the cohort in there. 
  3. Teacher Burnout. His class is small, but I am concerned his teacher will not only be doing the regular class during the day, but also have to do online learning at night for the students whose parents have chosen not to send them back. His program is designed to give him the support he needs by keeping the class small to give him help as he needs it. This could be difficult if his teacher is trying to teach and handle online work simultaneously. 
  4. Were you consulted at all?

I did the survey that was sent out to all parents. I also helped my son complete the student version.

Other than that there was no consultation

  1. What hardships will this create.

I feel that due to everything there are going to be gaps in his education. Not working with other kids in his grade, not having the reading with an older student is something that I think was very beneficial to him. I have not been working for the last 4 months due to a lack of childcare, and I am nervous to go back now not knowing if he will be back to school permanently or if they will go back to online learning anyways. As well our son uses the yellow bus and his bus services more than one school so that means exposing him to another group of kids that he would not normally be near. Due to this we are not using his bus service until we are comfortable with it which means his dad and I will have to adjust our schedules to be able to drop him off and pick him up.We are not sure what that looks like yet but we both work for very accommodating companies so I am hoping that we can figure it out. 

 There is no one size fits all answer to the school choice. I have watched my son’s mental health decline over the past few months as he felt isolated. This did play a part in our decision to send him back. I understand that every family has their own challenges to making the decision. I think for us, him being who he is and knowing how he learns best, sending him back is our best option. Also, there is no way I can afford to stay home to teach him myself, and his daycare is not an option for him to learn at.