School interruptions are hardest for weak students

Texas News Today

Many families do not know where to ask for information and sometimes cannot be contacted. Experts say the district needs to consider these unbalanced burdens.

Even if schools return to the country in earnest, complications caused by the pandemic continue and often the people most difficult to get through school are: families without transportation, limited incomes. Most seriously for those who have or have had other financial difficulties who do not speak English. children with special needs.

The coronavirus outbreak in the school and individual quarantine orders of students exposed to the virus stipulate that they will be able to attend classes directly on a particular day. Many families do not know where to ask for information and sometimes cannot be contacted.

And sometimes, due to a lack of drivers, it’s as simple as not seeing a school bus.

Kayona Morris, who lives without a car on the outskirts of Pittsburgh in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, had no choice but to keep the boy home the day the bus didn’t arrive. She said that her two sons were absent from classes for almost two weeks due to such confusion.

At that time sending the eldest son to school by government bus meant that the youngest child could not be sent to primary school on time.

“I feel like they’re leaving my baby behind,” Morris said. “Sometimes he feels like it’s not important enough to be raised.”

The problem for some families is that they do not have the private resources to deal with the collapse of the public education system. Others are not informed about programs that allow students to return to school until infection is negative, despite their exposure to the virus due to language barriers and other communication problems. Hmm.

In addition, some students may be at school remotely during quarantine, some receive little or no guidance, and some may lack internet or connected devices.

Brie Dusso, principal of the University of Washington’s Center for Reinventing the Wheel, said the district should be mindful of its disproportionate burden as it seeks solutions.

“If you use a test as a tool to ease the quarantine, then all students have equal, free and easy access to the test,” she said.

The first day the shortage affected his son’s route, Morris did not see the morning email notification that his son’s bus would be cancelled, and the two of them waited at a stop for a vehicle that would never arrive.

His children have been affected by his stay at home. They are both more excited about learning straight away. She said that the day the bus was canceled and she couldn’t reach the day’s lessons, the make-up work piled up and she was late for class.

She said the transition to middle school and the lack of social aspects of living with her peers were especially difficult for her older son.

Robert Balfans, a research professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, said the effects of unexpected strain at home may reflect the effects of chronic absenteeism and cause long-term damage to learning. Said there is.

“The irregularity of your attendance is just as important as the total amount you missed,” Balfan said. “It stays with you because you miss a crucial moment of learning that everything else is being formed, which can lead to frustration later on.”

Some families have more guidance than others when navigating unexpected, unstructured learning periods at home.

In Seattle, Sarah Niebuhr Rubin’s son was sent home for two weeks and identified as potentially exposed to the virus. The revelation was counted as an absent excuse, so Rubin conformed to live instruction for his reading inability, except for two sessions with an expert whose son had come to visit him on the way. He said that he did not get the service.

Without these services, he said he was having a hard time completing tasks without constant supervision, which he could not provide while working from home.

“There really was nothing,” Rubin said. When her son returned to class, he said that the grades were “starting again.”

To reduce the number of days off from school, some districts have implemented a “stay test” option. This option allows the child to remain in school even if the child has been exposed to infected people, as long as the COVID-19 test remains negative.

At Marietta City School in Georgia, students undergoing testing walk to a central location for rapid antigen testing in a parking lot. A negative test means they can go to school that day, and those who test positive will be taken into quarantine.

About 30% to 40% of targeted students are attending, said Gran Tribela, who said the district has begun to identify some barriers for families. Some have cited time constraints such as transportation constraints and work schedules.

Rivera said about a quarter of the households are unaware of the program. Parents will be notified of the testing schedule when they learn that their child is closely related, and the district will follow up by email.

“When we make this first call, there’s something like input overload and shock.” What am I going to do about my kids, parenting and work? “We do follow up by email, but in areas with a large population of ESL immigrants, the whole family may not understand or receive the email,” Rivera said.

Rivera said she wants to expand messaging through community partners and other methods, such as text messaging.

The potential for further confusion is haunting some parents.

For a time, McKissport firefighters volunteered to bring their children to school. Recently Morris’s children’s bus arrived on time. But she worries that she and her son will be kept in wait again.

“There is a worry in the back of my heart that this will happen again,” Morris said. “If so, it will be more difficult for me, but I’m ready to get the kids out of school and homeschool.”

Ma covers the education and fairness of AP’s racial and ethnic teams. Follow her on Twitter:

The Associated Press report on racial and ethnic issues is partially supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.


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