Editorial: Keep options open

Editorial: Keep options open

METRO photo

As the holiday break began to wind down and COVID-19 infection rates climbed, many parents hoped their children would be learning remotely for a week or two instead of returning to their classrooms.

Many feared that their children would get sick if they returned to school buildings and hoped that their districts would take advantage of their past remote learning experiences and allow students to return to a virtual classroom temporarily — just long enough for the holiday virus surge to pass.

While a few schools on Long Island did switch to remote and other districts offered an option, many school officials opened the doors to their classrooms as if they didn’t have a clue as to how to use alternative methods to educate.

Many people would agree that learning during the pandemic for a majority of students was difficult when a day at school meant logging into a computer instead of boarding a bus. The ideal option is to be seated in a classroom. However, in the worst of times, such as the world continuing to fight a virus that could be deadly to some, would switching to remote learning for a week or two be so harmful?

To keep our children and their families safe, school districts should be at the ready to switch to remote learning when infection rates soar. While health officials can advise not to gather during the holidays, is it such a terrible thing to allow people to be with their loved ones and then look at a screen when school is back in session?

Technology has made it possible to continue learning and working during difficult times such as these. Perfecting remote techniques and always being prepared to use them means that learning, working, basic health care and more can continue no matter what is going on around us, except for maybe a power outage.

And with more employers offering work-from-home options, many parents will be able to watch their children in the house if their children need to log into a computer to connect with their classroom. Which in turn, eliminates the old snow or sick day problem of who is going to watch the kids.

It’s been said many times during the pandemic that maybe instead of getting back to normal, it might be better to embrace a new normal. Let’s retain the lessons we have learned the last two years and increase our country’s chances of soon enjoying good times once again.