We had opted for distance learning when school first returned in the fall. We're going for in-person now.
More technically, we extended our distance learning when the school started in September, wanting to wait out the beginning to see how it was going to go. We wanted to be comfortable with how the classes were run, how the out-of-class kids would be involved with the in-class kids. And if the return to school would lead to a surge in virus stuff.
There was a surge. It really isn't clear if it was because of the return of kids to school, or other changes that happened when homes were freed of kids for the first time since spring. They shut down the in-person school, and everyone returned to virtual. Our hesitation resulted in much less turmoil and senses of loss. Some other kids were bothered by the false start, but it was all the same at our house, so that worked out well.
Since then, the science and numbers seem to show that ordinary school is not an evident vector for spreading the virus, especially in the lower grades where our kids are. With some reduced mingling of classes, and some enhanced care in the classroom, it's believed the kids will be safe returning to classes. In the older grades, the thoughts are around their typically more blended schedules, and diverse activities like sports or band or whatever. For the teachers and staff, there's increased risk as they will be in the school, but they're taking measures to stay more apart than before, too.
Especially with the imminent vaccine, we're leaning on science and the concerns of the teachers and staff, and some hope for the best.
Kiddo was pumped this morning. Up early, ready to go. Her things were gathered and mostly packed last night, and completed this morning. We've decided to drop her, at least for now, instead of adding in the blend of bussing her. We realize that the bus is just one degree separated, if any of the kids in her class are on the bus. If kids do carry or get infected, and they're on the bus, anyone in the class with anyone on that bus is at risk, right? But one degree, even just for a while, is still a little better.
I dropped her off at the door and she sprinted in, gleefully shooting hola to all she passed on the sidewalk. The drop off was a little busy, with all of the parents, but ran smoothly. With luck and practice, it'll only get better.
In a little while, the little little will get shipped off to his afternoon school. It'll be the first couple hours without kids at home for both parents since last March. Of course, we've got work to do, but it'll be an afternoon without little feet underfoot. I'm almost giddy at this small advance toward old normal.