I am very fortunate to be leading a school in rural Illinois that has had the opportunity to be open and has been open for in-person learning every single day in the first semester. It wasn’t easy but adjusting our procedures and being creative has allowed us to go half the year with only one student and one adult case in the first semester. Here are some issues that I see with closing schools and how it negatively impacts our students and our community.
1) Our low income students across the nation will be significantly impacted by the closure of schools and remote learning during the 2020-21 school year. According to Matthew Yglesias article, “And the problems will likely be most severe for lower-income students, whose parents are least likely to be working from home and least likely to have the personal knowledge and wherewithal to act as effective homeschoolers.”
2) There is not enough financial support from the federal governments CARES act to support all schools and our students for remote learning, hybrid learning, or in-person learning. Schools are taking on a new burden without the financial support needed. Similar to another unfunded mandate.
3) According to Andy Jordan Principal, Illinois has given schools local control when it comes to in-person, remote, or hybrid learning. The issue is that our great state is so diverse, unique, and underfunded that superintendents, school boards, and principals are having to make difficult decisions that could effectively determine the long term learning outcomes of their students for years to come. I believe our students being in-person learning will give them a huge advantage vs. remote and hybrid schools due to being able to accomplish more learning in person and essentially giving our students a better chance of having greater student achievement compared to other schools.
4) There are high economic costs to our families if we go full remote or hybrid model. According to UNESCO, “Working parents are more likely to miss work when schools close in order to take care of their children. This results in wage loss and tend to negatively impact productivity.”
5) The loss of being normal. The social emotional effects of being isolated and not being able to interact with students, teachers, and go through a normal school year is detrimental to a student’s development. Many students are missing out on key social emotional events that normal students should have.
According to Andy Jordan Principal he believes that schools need to be open and students need to be in school for the best learning to happen. Student achievement goes up with teachers are able to work every day with their students. Andy Jordan Principal predicts that schools that are remote or hybrid their student achievement and test scores will be lower than their historical average in years past. I believe it is unfortunate that many students educational lives have been impacted negatively due to how some states have handled the pandemic but I do not fault them either as during a worldwide pandemic it is almost impossible to predict and foresee what the right decision is for our students educationally. I’m just glad that we made the right one.
Currently an Illinois Principal Andy Jordan's blog is his own thoughts and does not represent his districts or previous district's views or positions. Mr. Jordan is a lifelong learner who has dedicated himself to education and has currently just completed his 12th year of college successfully securing a Chief School Business Official Degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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Andy Jordan, Ed.S.
Andy Jordan is a first generation college graduate who has dedicated his career to improving schools and fighting educational equality. Please follow and comment as we discuss the educational process. For more information and for videos please visit Principal Andy Jordan's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndyJordanPrincipal