By N3 News Team
Photo by Alexis Mercer
Been a year hasn’t it? All jokes and social media memes aside, 2020 turns the corner on the final third of its go-round the sun having already basically emulated the scorched earth policy of the Russian army retreating from Poland in ‘39.
We’ve weathered shutdowns and partial shutdowns, the proliferation of zoom meetings, the hoarding of hand sanitizers, endless mask debates, and runs on toilet paper (pun intended).
Pro sports are being played but they’re eerily fanless, while concerts and festivals have pretty much disappeared.
Big weddings went small. Family reunions took a year off. Graduation parties became immediate family affairs.
And social media exploded with vitriolic verbiage accompanying a range of opinions as to the reality of our situation.
So now we’ve managed to get by and perhaps for some of us even thrive during this strange and surreal summer.
And now it's time for school.
Oh man, schools.
Across the country schools have opened with many already shifting to all virtual.
Some colleges have attempted to open only to spin 180’s the next day and move to online only.
It’s a different world to be sure and now we are faced with fitting schools into it.
And next week Newaygo County schools take the plunge.
Our local school systems each face both similar and unique challenges. These are good people trying to do the jobs they do so well but this time around it has become a tricky maneuver to pull this off. After all, part of the faces who help make the classroom learning experience what it is will be learning from home. For teachers there are ancillary tasks added including those that go beyond the usual duties such as the constant sanitizing required after each shift of classes, balancing in room and virtual instruction, and remaining aware of how their students are reacting emotionally to these sea changes in their world. Staff members from drivers to IT to food service to custodial will each be starting what will seem like a new job with all the adjustments added to their previous tasks.
And Superintendents, other administrators, and school boards face huge decisions. Some they will have to make and some that will be made for them while requiring their action.
Over the next few weeks we hope to deliver a picture of how our educational systems evolve during these challenging times, and how students, teachers, parents and we as a community evolve with them.
We’ll start with a look at our local schools and how they are reacting to this uniquely demanding situation.