Parents across the U.S. are nervous, worried, and facing uncertainties as another school year opens. After a year of virtual or online learning, schools are returning to in-person classes, but there remains a looming risk as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues its upward trend of claiming victims.
Over the summer, most schools were determined to remain on course and planned for the school's reopening this fall. However, with less than two weeks for classes to start, the Delta variant is rearing its ugly head.
According to Raquel Rios of Alabama, she's not prepared for her child to go back to class. Her daughter's school has provided a few mandates, including mask-wearing for the kids, and the mother believes that it's a good call since virus infection cases are on the rise.
On the other hand, Dad Mark Mack said that he feels they are prepared as a family, and he's more open-minded about things going wrong during the school reopening. The father said that every parent is doing what they feel is right for the kids. The school has also done its part to ensure that the system is straightforward.
"I feel like the school system has done the best they can," the father told Fox News.
No Closures Expected
In San Francisco, Superintendent Vincent Matthews believes that schools will not shut down and will be able to keep its five days a week full-time schedule. At the San Francisco Unified School District, mitigation measures have been in place, such as proper ventilation in the classrooms and mask-wearing for everyone in the school, whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Some schools, however, will continue with virtual classes, especially for those with medical issues. Students who opt to study online will have a supervising teacher, but they will become part of the independent study program.
A parent of the school board's Parent Advisory Council said that her main worry had been triggered by some groups planning to ask the schools to do away with the mask mandate. She said that while she wants the children to have a proper education, including the social and emotional aspects of being inside the classrooms, they still need to lessen the risks of infection.
But a mother with a second-grader returning to school has no worries since San Francisco's vaccination rate is relatively higher compared to the other states. She also believes that children below 12 years old will finally get their vaccination soon.
Risk of Delta Variant in Kids
Dr. Sean O'Leary of the American Academy of Pediatrics said that the U.S. is opening up schools when a more dominant variant impacts the health system. It's understandable for parents and the school community to raise their concerns since cases of the Delta variant infections have jumped in children.
O'Leary believes that the best way to protect the kids is to ramp up the vaccination efforts and convince other people who are eligible to get their jab as well. He also advised the public to be thoughtful of where they go and what they do and consider wearing a mask.
Some experts also said that an outdoor environment is better than indoors, so schools must do as much as possible to have outdoor activities, especially at daycare centers. For areas with a mask mandate, parents must explain to their kids why they should follow the rule.
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