Hilary Duff says her son Luca, 8, can decide whether to go back to school

A lot of Coronavirus discussion right now revolves around reopening schools or not. CB wrote yesterday about teachers in Florida suing the governor over his school mandates. The soulless succubus that is our Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, flaunts her ignorance on a daily basis. (Have I mentioned how much I loathe Betsy Devos?) Parents are currently being asked by their school district to opt-in for distance learning or sign on to some version of school attendance (full or blended, which is physical attendance for half the week with half the number of students per class) in the fall. Many parents are struggling with this decision, especially since they are being asked to opt-in for either a full semester or the full school year. Hilary Duff found a unique way settle the matter, she’s leaving the choice up to her eight-year-old son, Luca. Luca starts third grade in the fall and the way things stand, Hilary said it his decision if he wants to go back in the classroom or not.

Hilary Duff trusts her son to make decisions that are in his own best interest.

In an exclusive chat with PEOPLE surrounding her partnership with Creative Roots, the actress and singer says she and her family — which includes 8-year-old son Luca Cruz, husband Matthew Koma and their daughter Banks Violet, 20 months — are staying up to date with guidelines surrounding the coronavirus pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and taking decisions for Luca’s entry into third grade one step at a time.

“Luca goes to private school, and we’re just waiting to see what happens,” says Duff, 32. “For his emotional well-being, I think it would be great if he could go back to school, but also it depends on what that looks like.”

“If it’s just strictly learning and no social interaction … I guess I would let him make the choice,” she adds. “If he was going and it was super sterile and it wasn’t benefiting him [in a social way], I would be up for remote learning again.”

[From People]

When I first read the headline that Hilary was letting her kid decide, I was floored. But after ruminating on it a bit, I think I understand. Luca goes to a private school. I was talking to my friend last night, one of her kids goes to public and one goes to private. The decision is night and day because privates are usually small class sizes and have the resources/space to properly social distance. Plus there’s more staff to monitor the kids and ensure they are adhering to social distancing. But truthfully, Hilary’s reasoning is not unlike my own. I’m making the final choice for my kids about school, but my decision is heavily factoring what they want. I selected blended learning because my kids did not thrive in a virtual environment. I determined this based on their happiness, which is what it sounds like Hilary is hoping to do by letting Luca choose. But both Hilary and I live in a state in which we know the governor will put the children’s safety first. So we have the luxury of deciding based on our kids’ preferences because when it becomes a safety issue, we know CA will shut the schools down again. Parents in Georgia, Florida, etc. who are suing for the right to make the safe decision for their kids, have a much tougher decision.

I disagree with Hilary over a “super sterile” environment not benefiting kids socially. I have teenagers who just want a face-to-face discourse, even if it is six feet apart. They want the back and forth of classroom discussion and teacher’s lectures. Were they eight, like Luca, and still in that very physical space of childhood, again, I can see where Hilary is coming from.

What kind of decisions is your family making about school?

Photo credit: Instagram and WENN/Avalon

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57 Responses to “Hilary Duff says her son Luca, 8, can decide whether to go back to school”

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  1. Tris says:

    I just honestly don’t know what to do. My 10-year old needs friends. But what if the long term effects of this virus are like herpes and shingles? Will I potentially be dooming them to a lifetime of pain? And what about my 83 year old mom — do we stop seeing her when my child goes back to school, to protect her? What about her mental health??

  2. Stacy Dresden says:

    Remote learning for us (complete with toddler sibling, not ideal). We weren’t given an option as we have a science-guided Dem governor and the school district followed state guidance. I have my concerns, but I feel for parents in tougher personal situations than mine (for example, FT job, older or special needs children).

    • HeatherBoBeather says:

      Same for us, but with two toddler siblings. I considered homeschooling for a bit, but I want to support our schools and district. We will make it work. Our district isn’t doing letter grades. They are going to grade based on how the kids are doing with the material (needs improvement, etc), like Elementary report cards. I stay at home, so this works for us. I am heartbroken for people that make much harder decisions than us.

      I did get input from our kids (12 and 8) on which scenarios sounded best, but the adults made the ultimate decision.

      I live in Albuquerque and we have the orange menace’s secret police coming, so…

    • Chica1971 says:

      Sounds like VA. My district opted for virtual only and it’s best safety wise not socially. Schools thrive on contact and proximity for everything and in ways that people who do not work in them don’t really understand. In addition, school building design encourages viral spread.. this really has not been discussed in a meaningful way either. We will return to school but it’s just not possible now.

  3. Also Ali says:

    It’s tragic really.

    We were offered a hybrid in school/remote option but I picked all remote. My kids are elementary and middle schoolers.

    It’s not going to be ideal or easy but with the virus not under control or even fully understood yet, I can’t in good conscience send them knowing I can afford to keep them home.

    • goofpuff says:

      I have elementary age kids. We are doing remote. My older kids do not want to go back with COVID here in Texas raging in my area and we have a dumb ass gov who can’t seem to make any decisions not kissing Trump’s ass. So clearly he’s not going to make a decision on safety until its too late.

      The school safety plan is a complete joke. There’s no plan to be safe or plan to isolate students – only staff. No plans for contact tracing. Masks and social distancing is “suggested”. Ugh. They say they’re going to clean but don’t detail how.

  4. Belle says:

    There is really no handbook for this so no judgement. Kids are dealing as well not just adults. Personally I find it difficult to imagine having to wear face masks in school (of course I understand why) but it doesn’t change the fact that it is restricting and limiting for the kids!!! This what is being rumored to be the new normal for NY schools. I haven’t decided and if offered a hybrid we will most likely take it.

  5. janey jane says:

    Fairfax county VA (one of the biggest if not THE biggest suburban school districts here. They announced fully online after offering an option to attend two days in person a week. I imagine it was the right call (we were doing online), but it is so, so difficult.

    I do think the impact of the pandemic will be studied for decades. Economically, socially, developmentally for kids, health wise, and even racially.

    In a lot of ways, I feel a kinship to the shitshow of the Vietnam Nixon years. Talking to my parents, things felt very similar.

    • A says:

      Do you know off the top of your head what private schools in your area are doing? It seems like where we are the private schools are trying to reopen in person as much as possible and I wonder if that’s going to magnify the effect the virus has on class and racial disparities down the line.

      • lanne says:

        I’m a private school teacher in Atlanta and we will be open. Most teachers, including me, are terrified and demoralized. The plan for our school sounds good on paper, but will it survive reality? Doubtful. Especially in GA where our idiot governor is trying to prevent mask mandates, and our school has a lot of rich MAGA types who won’t social distance. If you have the choice, please choose remote school. It’s not just your kids to consider, but teachers. We don’t have a choice. We have no protections, no voice. I will not be able to see my elderly parents once school starts. Lots of teachers have spouses with comorbidities, or take care of parents/kids. I’m reconsidering my career as a teacher because of this. I’ll never forgive my school if any teacher grows ill or dies because of this. We have the ability to do remote schooling to the best it can be done if we plan it correctly. Our only hope at my school is that enough parents choose remote that it makes sense to go completely remote.

      • A says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful response, lanne! I am sorry you’re being forced to make these kinds of decisions for no real good reason. It’s stupid and dangerous and stupidly dangerous.

      • Mel M says:

        One of my friends here has a son in private school who is going to be in first grade. She is taking him out and doing online school through the school we are going through because they have virtually no plan at all. No remote learning option, they literally say that have no plans for remote instruction or even support for remote instruction, and masks are only recommended. They are not altering the classroom for things like art, gym and music. There is no plan for if or when someone tests positive, like if they will shut down or anything. They only have steps for re entering school if you test positive. It’s seriously nuts to me and I’m wondering how many students and money they will lose because of it.

  6. Mar says:

    Florida parent here. It’s insane down here. The government doesn’t care and school boards are having a hard time making parents feel safe sending their kids. Orange County Public Schools is offering F2F, virtual through OCVS, or virtual through LaunchED where kids stay home and follow along remotely w a livestream of their teacher for the entire day. My son is going into 2nd grade, there is no way he can sit in front of a computer from 845-3 with only lunch and a few 5 min breaks. He’s an only child and needs the socialization, but we are keeping him home and doing virtual through OCVS for at least a semester. I’m lucky that my mom lives with us and we have the ability to choose this option.
    Also, the collective bargaining going on with the teacher’s union is batsh*t crazy. Th district is crossing off mandatory masks/face shields, social distancing, smaller class sizes, extra busses, and extra cleaning, among other things. It is scary.

    • KelBells says:

      Hi Mar, Seminole County mom here. My son is in a private special needs school. We were offered the three options (Full school, half and half or full remote/our scholarship is being honored at least) and given two days to decide which one we wanted. It is crazy here and Seminole county schools has no real plan. What happens when a child tests positive, are they going to send those kids exposed home for 14 days?
      Our school, which has 60 kids, has said what their plans are for cleaning and social distancing but it just is not possible to keep people safe. We are doing full remote and everyday I am happier with my decision.
      My son, being 12, was able to tell me that he wanted to stay home. But also worry about the isolation, he misses other kids. My mom and husband have preexisting conditions and it just isn’t safe. Its a hardship for us but the risk is too much. Wishing your family good health.

  7. Scollins says:

    Note the school board meetings held on Zoom requiring brick & mortar attendance. Mind boggling.

    • Chica1971 says:

      Yes,. If it’s so freaking safe why won’t they get in the room together yet it’s okay for kids.

  8. Still_Sarah says:

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with her letting her child decide (if that’s what she really means). But I noticed she didn’t include Luca’s dad in her comment. I read this and thought “shouldn’t Mike’s opinion enter into this?”

    • Nightsky says:

      I agree. Why would you allow an 8 year old to decide what’s best for him? Isn’t that the parent’s job?? What child possesses the life experience and wisdom to make suitable decisions that will have a major bearing on his life? Although….I have complete empathy and respect for the parents having to cope with the impact of covid19 on their family life. I can only imagine the stress, fear and pressure they’re forced to cope with during this pandemic. If I were a parent I would likely opt to keep my child at home (with online learning) until an effective and safe vaccine has been developed.

  9. A says:

    I’ve got a kid about Luca’s age and he wants to go back to school. Well, what he want is to play with his friends; I think the schooling part is not really part of his calculations. That said, we’re taking care of my in-laws these days and they’re in their 70s and we’ve got to consider them too. I don’t think it’s safe right now, at least where we are. Some schools may be able to deep clean and keep desks apart but kids are kids. They’re not gonna socially distance themselves. We don’t know enough about the long-term effects of the virus on anyone of any age but what we do know tells me I don’t want to put my family or anyone in my community unnecessarily at risk.

    That said, most people cannot devote the next…however long to homeschooling their kids and we need them in a safe place to learn. The whole crisis demands more flexibility and better governance than this country is able to provide.

  10. smcollins says:

    Our district basically conducted a survey, framed as a “re-registration”, to get parent feedback about what we’re most comfortable with (hybrid model or 100% virtual for first half of the school year). We opted for 100% virtual. Our son is only in 1st grade so expecting kids his age to social distance and wear a mask all day seems like an impossible guideline for them to adhere to. And that’s without taking the teachers & staff’s protection into account. Most of the state has already opted to be strictly online until January so that’s most likely how it will be in our area as well.

  11. Thinking says:

    What I find troubling is the pictures of her kids on social media. Why do parents do this? I see this on facebook too. Children cant give informed consent to have their images posted on the internet. I dont think it is appropriate. I understand she wants to post her image. But leave kids out of it :(.

  12. Kat says:

    I’m in NY and we’re still waiting for decisions. It sounds like a two day week and alternate third days is the way our district is leaning. I’m definitely not sending them on the bus. I don’t know why that’s such a sticking point for me. I’m hoping to send them but am fully prepared to homeschool if schools get shut down again. I’m positive Cuomo won’t hesitate if our currently very low numbers spike again. I personally love homeschooling, but my boys need someone other than me.

  13. Noodle says:

    I have three kids, 15, 12, and 5, and I live in Southern California (where numbers are spiking, big time). My two oldest did exceptionally well during the shutdown this Spring, but are starting to really have a hard time with the isolation of Summer. They miss their friends and teachers and the mental stimulation that school provides. I’m doing my best, but I (and husband) cannot replace those relationships for them, and texting/calling isn’t the same. I see both of them starting to get depressed and anxious, and realistically, it will be January (maybe) before they will be given the option to return to school at all, given the social and political climate of the “freedom fighters” in my county. The five year old is a different matter. He’s going into Kindergarten, and has a serious speech delay. He NEEDS the academic instruction (this is a critical year in reading development) as well as interventions by his SLP. We received only 15 minutes weekly of speech services last Spring, and while we can practice phonemes and articulation, I’m not a speech pathologist. I’m doing my best, but he needs more than what I can provide. I work from home and have the luxury of helping my kids, as difficult as it is to have kids constantly interrupting me while I’m in meetings. Add to that the new expectations by California DOE where each child has to be present and live each day for a minimum of three hours, and that is going to be exceptionally difficult to manage. I can teach the academic content matter for all three, but it’s not easy, especially as I navigate my own career and health issues.

    • theKC says:

      Hello fellow SoCal resident. I completely understand where you are coming from. My 14-year-old daughter is really struggling with the isolation, but at the same time she seems to have begrudgingly accepted that she won’t be going back this fall (I told her MAYBE after Christmas). She has certain special needs, including a 504/IEP that requires her to NOT have to use a computer to take exams, so I am not sure how distance learning will work for us, but we have to make our best effort. Her little friend group is all kids with special needs, including a boy with a speech impediment, and he definitely needs to be back in speech class. I have noticed (from listening to their conversations on our VR system) that his lisp is more pronounced than it was in February, and that is just so hard. Both of his parents are essential so there is no one around during the hours the SLP was supposed to work with him, to force him to get on the computer and work with them, and middle school boys aren’t known for their cooperation. It’s a really unfortunate situation for everyone.

      • Noodle says:

        @thekc, I feel you! Lost among the confusion are our students with special needs, who legally are entitled to services. My son was receiving 90 minutes of intervention with an SLP last year (his speech was assessed in bottom 2% when he was 3), and it evolved into a 15 minute teleconference in the Spring. I hope (HOPE) our district has better plans for this Fall in terms of supporting our students now that they’ve had a bit more time and space to assess the situation. I’m honestly concerned though about how IEPs/504s will be followed virtually, and what legal implications there are if those documents are not followed. I’m not an SLP, but I can support my kid fairly well at home. It doesn’t replace the direct interventions, but he will survive. I really worry for students and families with special needs that CAN’T be met at home. What happens to the medically fragile kids whose parents work and there are no care services to provide for the child? What about the SED kids who need the ABA and specialists? It’s so sad and distressing.

  14. BB says:

    Ky resident here. My county have is the choice and I chose 100% virtual. I have a ninth, seventh and fifth grader so none of them are really happy. However my ninth grader had asthma and the would be in three different schools so that was too much risk for me.

  15. Aang says:

    I agree schools should be remote until we have this under control. The big problem is that it is going to exacerbate the wealth gap in education. I’ve already gotten inquiries about home schooling other people’s kids. The going rate in my area is $60 an hour plus paid planning time if the parents want anything outside of the school curriculum. Add to that the lack of internet access for a bunch of kids and it’s going be tragic.

  16. MaryContrary says:

    Not sure how she’s giving her kid a choice, since she lives in CA and the governor announced last week that all schools (public and private) are closed if their county is on the watch list. We live in So Cal too-my kids are going to do distance learning for as long as it’s available. My 6th grader is fine with whatever distance/homeschooling we do. I’m researching curriculum in case I decide that I want to homeschool him myself. I’ve done it before-so it would be okay. My 11th grader really struggled last spring with the online learning. His school did not do a great job, and they’re swearing up and down that it will be better this fall-so we’ll see.

    • aang says:

      Consider online college classes for your 11th grader if you don’t think the high school is up to it. Intro level online community college classes will probably be much better organized, especially if you sign up for ones that are offered remotely on a regular basis. If they earn 24 credit hours before they apply they can transfer into any state school and don’t even need a diploma or SAT scores. At least that is how it works in NYS. My kid started non matriculated classes (in person and online) at a state college at 14. By 16 he was able to matriculate into the state’s flagship uni just based on accumulated credits.

      • MaryContrary says:

        Unfortunately, he can’t take community college classes for high school credit here. He can take his AP calc class at community college-so we’re working on at least doing that. Of course in order to do that, he still needs his high school counselor’s approval, and school doesn’t “start” until after the community college-so I’m hoping he will at least be checking his emails and make an exception considering the pandemic. I wish our system was like NYS!

  17. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Kindergarten is not a requirement in Texas so we want to keep our son home. He’s in preschool right now, but the class sizes are small and much more manageable. I’m just not sure the ISD can handle the safety precautions on a large scale. Also, the elementary school in our district just had a summer school teacher diagnosed with Covid-19. We are considering a mix of homeschooling/no schooling. I’m self-employed and work from home and I feel terrible that a majority of parents won’t have options.

    • Tootsie McJingle says:

      I’m unfortunately one of those non option parents. I’m near Chicago and my son is starting kindergarten this year. The district gave us a choice of all in person or all remote until at least December. I’m furloughed right now but my work is planning to reopen at the end of September. My husband has been working this whole time so once my work reopens, we won’t have another option besides sending him to school. I would
      like nothing more than to keep him home and safe. Thinking about it makes my stomach hurt 😞

  18. liz says:

    I have a 16 year old in a NYC private school. That school is adjusting what is happening depending on grade level. The youngest kids had the hardest time with remote school, so they are being invited back full time, with restrictions – max of 10 kids in a classroom, lunch being served in the classroom (no use of cafeteria), social distancing to the extent possible with 5 and 6 year olds, massive amounts of time & money spent on cleaning, individual supplies, each classroom has its own bathroom, etc. As far as I’m aware, the teachers are OK with the plans because of the cleaning and the limits on the numbers (that faculty is also very young themselves).

    At the high school level, they are having remote classes four days a week and are in school once a week for tests, teacher meetings, clubs, etc. They have eliminated in-person PE and vocal/instrumental music. Normally my kid takes the subway to school every day, but I’m OK driving to/from school once a week (a 35 minute subway ride is almost an hour in rush hour traffic). Kiddo has ADHD, which makes remote learning very difficult, but we will do what we can to make it work. They have been able to “see” a few of their friends over the summer – meeting for a socially distanced ice cream or cup of coffee in Central Park type of things, but I suspect that being able to really see everyone regularly, even socially distanced, will be good for them.

    Of course I worry about it, which is why I’ll be spending hours in traffic driving from one end of Manhattan to the other, but I think the school has made reasonable decisions under the circumstances.

  19. thaisajs says:

    We just went thru this in northern Virginia and I had to decide for the full year for my 7-year-old, who desperately misses her friends. We talked about it and even though she knew she’d have to wear a mask all day and there wouldn’t be recess in any real way — they closed the playground — she still wanted to go back. Of course, two days after making the decision to go with a “hybrid” option of being in school two days a week, the school board decided to reverse itself and make everyone distance learn for at least the first semester and probably all year.

    It is so hard on the kids and working parents. I personally think you should ask your kid his/her preference and make that part of your decision process. I wish we could afford private school.

    • lanne says:

      Private school teachers want to teach remotely. We don’t have a choice. We actually have the luxury to do remote schooling as well as it can be done, and we were successful in the spring. Private school teachers around the country are panicking and demoralized. We want to teach, but we care about our safety and security. No one else seems to.

  20. Rapunzel says:

    Sigh. An 8 year old is not cognitively mature enough to make this decision. Way to abdicate your parental responsibilities, Hillary.

    As an educator (community college), I’m tired of the drama here. I’m especially tired of folks who vote to defund education and criticize teachers for being glorified babysitters (or worse, left wing indocrinators) all of a sudden acting like kids will suddenly die of stupidity and loneliness from lack of school.

    We are literally only talking a few months, hopefully. It’s not the end of the world.

    And it’s also not just about any one family ‘s kids- it’s about all kids. And teachers who really don’t deserve to have their lives put at risk.

    I know there are many essential workers risking their health, and I thank them, and teaching is an essential job, but it’s so much more difficult for teachers to protect themselves than most other essential workers, due to the logistics of teaching.

    And honestly? Your children are likely going to get a better education from you at home than in school right now.

    I don’t think many parents realize just how chaotic trying to reopen schools with safety protocols will be. If one kid gets sick, your kid is home for two weeks anyway. Then if they go back and another kid gets sick, that’s another two weeks. Teacher gets sick?..another two weeks and a substitute if teacher lands in hospital or on ventilator, or dies.

    There will be mass confusion and difficulties and very little education or socialization will actually happen. And think of how hard juggling work schedules will be when your kid could be home at a moment’s notice. So much for school providing child care.

    And let’s not forget this push to get kids back in school has nothing to do with their well being. It’s not about educating or socializing them. It’s about making sure their mommies and daddies can go put their lives at risk for a paycheck, because the rich need to exploit the working class to get richer. And the government would rather kill you than give you unemployment you paid into… or a stimulus check.

    • aang says:

      Rapunzel you are 100% correct.

    • Mich says:

      I am stunned by parents saying that they are going to let their kids decide. Children in no way have the capacity to understand the short and long-term risks. There was a recent story of a kid (don’t know how old) bringing the virus home and now both parents are dead.

      NONE of us knows how we will respond to this virus. There is NO treatment.

      I am very thankful that my children are grown – and living in a country that takes this virus much more seriously than we do. But if they were still kids, not a chance in hell I would be sending them back to school until there is at least a treatment available. And, yes, I understand that I am lucky to be in a position to make this kind of decision.

    • Noodle says:

      @rapunzel, 100% this. I am a former high school English teacher, and now am a professor of online education for a university. They cut out all on-ground classes this Spring and we are 100% online now. I was always online because I have chronic migraine and can’t work in a normal classroom or office setting any longer. Seeing this play out politically, and seeing teachers vilified for wanting to be protected, is sickening. In my community, the same people who are anti-mask are the ones who are demanding schools open and kids go back with no protections!!!

      • Rapunzel says:

        Noodle- honestly, I think a lot of it is misunderstanding of what teachers do. A lot of folks think distance learning is some sort of paid vacation for teachers and they want it stopped because they’re jealous. Nevermind I’m working more at home than I ever have.

        I’m sick of folks snidely going, “must be nice” when I tell them I’m teaching online. Anyone even remotely cognizant of online pedagogy knows it’s more work than face to face teaching.

      • Noodle says:

        @rapunzel, and add to this that our teachers weren’t trained to be virtual. No teacher education program in our nation is focused on virtual learning exclusively. Teachers are not only facing the extreme pressure of staying healthy, they are now expected to be experts in pedagogy delivered virtually. It’s so disheartening and discouraging to see my candidates and graduates being criticized for expressing concerns and for being honest about the trade-offs of virtual learning. Because I’ve been teaching and developing courses for online delivery for several years, I feel like I have a really good grasp of how to design and deliver online courses for teachers. I have adult learners, though, who are largely independent and don’t need daily help. My university doesn’t require me to be online, face-to-face with them for three hours a day. The situation in which we are placing our teachers, especially given the important role they play in supporting the emotional, social, and physical needs of students in the classroom, is untenable.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Your opinion reflects the one from a good friend of mine in NYC who teaches elementary school music at a private school that is going to stay “online only” this fall. He told me that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to teach music class online, but they’ve adjusted with activities assigned for students to do on their own and with parents and also teleconference lessons for voice and instruments. His attitude (though not at all cavalier, of course) was that the kids are all going to be fine this year. He doesn’t believe in-person school is worth the health risk.

  21. lucy2 says:

    Germs go through schools like wildfire as it is. My mom taught elementary school kids, saw hundreds of kids each week, and got sick so often. Little kids especially have no concept of how to contain their germs.
    I can’t see how any school is going to make this work. Even if you space out in the classroom, kids are in close proximity in the halls, the shared restrooms, the buses, etc. And the teachers and school staff are going to be exposed to so many people.

    • Kate says:

      I was just saying that all this talk about whether to put kids and teachers at risk totally ignores, at least with younger kids, how when kids get sick they bring it home and their families get sick. It seems really short-sighted to talk about this as if only those 2 groups of people will be potentially at risk. If your kid catches it you are catching it too.

      My sister lives in a conservative school district in a democratic governor state and she said her facebook is hot with moms sharing which doctors offices are willing to write notes to excuse kids from wearing masks. It’s insane.

  22. EMc says:

    I asked my soon-to-be second grader and he wanted to go back. When I told him he would have to wear a mask all day, he changed his mind. We recently moved to SC and there aren’t any kids where we are staying temporarily, so he wanted to go meet his new friends. It broke my heart. I would have chosen the virtual regardless of his answer but I was curious what he would want. I underestimated how important his friendships are to him, and it’s unfortunate he won’t get to develop those.. BUT-
    I feel like everyone needs to remember that this isn’t forever (hopefully). A semester or school year at home isn’t ideal by any stretch of the imagination but this is the reality we are living in. I said on another post that we are lucky because I quit my job and can stay home, and I know not everyone is able to do that. I wish we spent less time arguing over going back and more time creating resources for those families.

  23. margie says:

    Our school system in KY is a small independent system. Our school system has allowed parents the choice of remote learning or in-person, and I hate that there is even the choice. Our county has a low total of cases, and has maybe 25 new cases a week, and our city has had hardly any cases. But I think about how much that will probably change once everyone is together, and it makes me wish our system would just go to remote for everyone. We would have to stop seeing our parents, and the bubble we’ve worked so hard to maintain for our family would be shot. It is such a hard choice. I don’t want to deny my kids socialization and that in-school experience, but I also definitely don’t want them to get sick or spread it to anyone. I just wish we’d get some leadership to offer better direction than “healthy at school” where tons of kids are going to get sick.

  24. M4lificent says:

    I’m in a Denver suburb. We’re in our own little home rule district, so our town runs the school system — we’re not part of the county school system. We were given a choice of all remote or all in school. (A survey showed 70% families wanted in-school). I think our school district has made a genuine effort in their guidelines, but without access to regular mass testing, all of that asymptomatic spread is just going to doom the effort in no time.

    My rising 8th grader is furious with me for choosing remote, but it’s the best choice for our family risk factors. And I telecommute so I can provide support from home. He’s a solid student, and between me and extended family, we have the skillsets to provide extra academic support for him, if needed.

    We live in a predominately working class school district, so many of his classmates have parents in front-line jobs and can’t be home. And we live in a very purple area, so I already know that many of our neighbors have practiced little to no social distancing. So, I’ve explained to my son that we should remove him as a possible vector in the classroom because we can, whereas it’s not so easy for some of the other families. Every less kid in a classroom is not only less risk in our home, but less risk to teachers and staff and other families.

    I’ve told him that if they can make it through the first semester without shutting down, he can physically go back to school in the spring. But I don’t think they’ll make it a month without shutting down. And our district knows that too. Their guidelines are littered with “we may need to switch back to remote on no notice….” I think they are only offering a choice to appease the parents who want in-school learning, and they know they’ll have to switch back to all-remote very quickly.

    My BIL is a retired high school science and math teacher in the Chicago suburbs, and he confirmed that opinion. His former colleagues feel that their district is offering parents a choice to appease them, but will end up all-remote very quickly. The current teachers estimate that their district won’t be able to go more than 2 weeks in-class before it will have to switch back to remote because of infections — and Illinois is a state that has actually been pretty consistently aggressive about distancing measures for months. My friends from spiking states like TX and FL think it will be even less time before their kids’ schools are shut down….

    • Kate says:

      I just posted above and have heard similar things in our “purple” area. If you’re throwing kids together and some are wearing masks and some are going to have notes excusing them from wearing masks, it’s only a matter of time before either (a) the masked kids’ parents pull their kids out of school because they’re scared, or (b) someone gets sick and the school has to close.

  25. Annabel says:

    NYC parent of a four-year-old here. I decided to homeschool her in September. I have a very flexible job that I can do from home, so it’s manageable. We’re going to go into a homeschool pod with a couple other families who are as cautious as we are. There will be at least one kid the same age in the pod, so she’ll have a friend to socialize with. Everyone I talk to here is just kind of assuming that we’re going to suffer a second wave in the fall coinciding with flu season, so I doubt schools will stay open all year anyway.

  26. TiredMomof2 says:

    I’m in Ohio. Our school board had a meeting to announce the back to school plans – and the BOE wasn’t socially distanced nor did they wear masks (majority of the board at the meeting didn’t wear them). We are going back full-time, F2F, with an in-line option for those parents who don’t want their kids in school (that would be me). The school district also announced all students, teachers, and staff will wear masks. In the next sentence, they announced that they were dropping the 6 feet distancing recommendation and doing 3 feet. Yeah. Not doing that. My 17 year old high schooler isn’t going to be an experiment. And, as he tells me, “I know these kids, and it’s hard to trust they will do the right thing in terms of distancing and mask wearing.”

  27. Kkat says:

    I’m in California, schools are distance learning only for both public AND private school for the fall semester in 32 counties.

    Does it suck for the kids? Yes.
    It would have been my son’s first year of high school. And my niece I live with made the compition cheer team. There are no sports this semester or cheer.

    Im very thankful we have the governor that we do.

  28. Thea says:

    So Newsom already said that schools in counties that are on the list won’t be doing in person learning and Los Angeles is def on the list, so it’s kind of a moot point, non? Unless her private school is gonna defy it. Just like how gyms are supposed to be closed, but I know of at least nine different studios that are open.

    There’s a third option that a lot of celebs and rich people are doing. Hiring teachers or tutors and creating learning pods with different families.

  29. Marigold says:

    As an educator of a certain age with a husband of even MORE of a certain age, I am not wanting to go back until cases are way down. I’m in Texas and it is not good. I love my job but I don’t want to die for it!

    Yes, it is hard on kids. It is hard on adults too. But we didn’t choose the circumstances for our life. The pandemic came, Trump effed up the response and here we are. It will pass. But we need to be as safe as possible until it does.

  30. Paige says:

    I’m a special education teacher in Ohio. Our school district announced we were going 5 days a week with an online option. There was no explanation to the parents or staff of what that entailed. In an e-mail a day later, our admin said no more than 15 kids to a class. No specials (music, p.e., library, computer lab, etc.) for elementary and kids will eat breakfast in lunch in the classroom. Upper elementary/middle school classes that are departmentalized will have the teachers rotate instead of the students. So basically, these kids will not be able to socialize and will be sitting in the same seat all day. This is MISERABLE in my opinion. This hasn’t been explained to parents yet. If I had kids, I would homeschool rather than subject them to this.

  31. Charlie Foxtrot says:

    Checking in from Connecticut, where we’ve been doing this right. I’m an administrator at an independent school and my youngest is going to be a senior at a public high school. My school and my daughter’s school are planning to open fully in person the day after Labor Day. I spent most of today reviewing my school’s plans, and we’re going to be able to isolate kids in pods of 10-12 kids, with dedicated faculty, classrooms, bathrooms, and isolation rooms. If a pod needs to quarantine we will shift to remote learning for that pod while keeping all others on campus. We’ve surveyed our faculty and families to get a sense of their comfort level in returning.

    Our local public school system will have a harder time but will still be able to do it, because I live in a small, affluent town with small class sizes and plenty of classroom space.

    I am in a wildly privileged environment. Everybody in Connecticut has been wearing masks since the beginning of May. The big concern is out-of-state people coming in to our shoreline towns or our residents going on vacation to hot spots.

    I am so grateful for my circumstances, but angry that my privileged students, who probably need it least, are getting what every child in this country should have and could have, if everyone would put the collective good ahead of their own agendas.

  32. TheMummy says:

    I am a teacher at a private school in Massachusetts. The whole situation is horrific. Please do not for one second fall for the idea that private schools are in a better situation than public schools. The class sizes are not actually smaller. We are also not subject to the same regulations that public schools are. Teachers have no voice because they do not have representation. It is an awful, terrible situation, and I would absolutely never send my child to a private school right now. And I’m saying that as a private school teacher. It is far, far worse at private schools right now. I am horrified at how many people I am seeing saying that private schools are a better situation than public schools right now. That could not be anything further from the truth. The lack of regulations at private schools will mean that kids and teachers will die. I myself may be retiring from teaching because of it. And teaching is literally my entire life. I don’t know who or what I am without it. Please, please, please do not for a single second think that private schools are a safer place. They are a MUCH less safe place.

  33. KBas says:

    I live in SC where the governor refuses to mandate masks, the county I live in just voted against mandating masks, cases are increasing daily, and people seem to be proud of protecting their “freedom” more than their health or the health of their community. I’m pissed.

    Our school district is offering a virtual school or in-person option. My husband and I have opted for virtual for our rising first grader. We also have a 4 and 2 year old at home so it will be interesting, but I can’t in good conscience send him to school in the current climate. He’s soooo upset about it but we’ll make it through.

    I am the only one of my friends who has decided to keep their child home, which shocks me. The other parents are in a similar situation – stay at home mom, husband works at home currently, really doesn’t *need* to send their kid to school but just can’t deal with them at home anymore, I guess!? I get it. I am losing it most days but until things get more controlled, at home is where we’ll be.