These are scary times. Students and staff are scared. They are unsure what is going to happen. For food insecure families, closing schools might mean they won't eat well until schools reopen. Parents may lose their jobs because the job closes down for the next several weeks (especially those in restaurants and similar). Parents may not have daycare during this time and aren't sure what to do with their children. Add on top of all of this uncertainty the media's reaction and you could have a recipe for disaster.
I'm as nervous as the next person, especially because I do not understand how our government could have denied the severity of this virus for so long. But I am not panicking. I know staying home might not be that fun, but it's worth it to not become a carrier for this virus and pass it on to people I care about.
Teachers across the country have stepped it up and with little notice have provided packets, online learning opportunities and other ways to stay connected with their students during these times. I think this is important to note because we are going above and beyond because that's what teachers do. It's what we have always done, now it's just in the spotlight and people are noticing it more.
My district was proactive and sent our students home with their chromebooks on Friday. Each student from grades 3-12 will have connections with their teachers via Google Classroom or Schoology. I have provided my students will my phone number (a Google Voice number so not my personal one) so they can call or text me if they are needing an adult to talk to. It's only been the weekend and I've had three different students already reach out to me. Relationships mean a lot!
My own kids' district hasn't been as proactive. It makes me sad. I don't want my kids sitting home for a month. If I wasn't an educator myself, I wouldn't necessarily know what I could steer them toward. As it happens, I AM an educator and have a wealth of information at my fingertips but I worry for folks who don't have that.
Over the next few days I will be compiling what I've seen available and sharing it in the hopes that others will share it too so that parents who need a guide in the right direction have it.