COVID to survey: Not your decision

Opinion: Editorials

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According to a survey of parents at OPRF High School, 66 percent are ready (were ready?) to send their students back to the classroom at least on some sort of hybrid basis. 

Based in part on that survey, the school's administration readied a new plan for hybrid learning to the school board later this week, according to Supt. Joylyn Pruitt-Adams. Pretty much simultaneously the school announced its teaching would remain fully remote at least through Nov. 24 when the school breaks for Thanksgiving. 

And here we have the conundrum of COVID. Everyone wants normal or some step toward normal. We all want to claim some level of control. And yet the virus, abetted by our growing sloppy response, says "no" to normal.

So we have two school districts which have formed supersized committees of parents and staff to help influence next steps toward reopening. At the same moment, we have COVID spiking in our community and across this nation — which makes this no time to rely on a massive committee to render judgment on this moving pandemic target.

Instead we need superintendents and school boards to make the nimble choices, the humble choices that focus fully on the health of our students and our teachers. 

COVID-19 will be beaten. But not until there is a vaccine in wide use to knock it down.

In the meanwhile, this miserable and impossible year will run its course. We will find a middle path back for our schools. But first patience, with a side order of understandable frustration.

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Reader Comments

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Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 24th, 2020 2:24 PM

Tom MacMillan When I read the Wednesday Journal, all I notice when it comes to local government and the schools that there is always a consultant being hired or a consultant selling some new program. Maybe this is what all towns does, although it would seem that if a person was skilled enough to do their own research, that would save a lot of money in consultant fees. I really do think with the experience that Vicki Scaman has, that she may be the person who can lower the cost of consultants by researching independently. I still recall Marion street, and the street pavers that needed to be replaced for about 500,000.00 thousand dollars because a consultant or someone did not know the pavers would not hold up to traffic. On the good side of the project, Marion street is very nice, although that certainly does not make up for a 500,000.00 dollar mistake

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 24th, 2020 2:18 PM

This sentence may relate to many people in their behavior with the virus. "And here we have the conundrum of COVID. Everyone wants normal or some step toward normal. We all want to claim some level of control. And yet the virus, abetted by our growing sloppy response, says "no" to normal." That sure was not my response. I called the local health department, Cook County and the IDPH. No response from local, no ability from Cook Country because Oak Park has their own health department, and the State could not do anything to enforce it at the time, and that still is a problem. This is a pandemic. Read about them in history books. No one wants it although it is here and as human's, we should be able to find a way of accepting that normal is not possible in a pandemic. You sit down with children and explain in anyway you need to why they can not go to school. You make sure adults are adhering to the CDC guidelines, and this is were many people fail. Next time the levels come down does not mean the virus is gone. It still needs to be challenged until a vaccination is fully developed. There was to much upfront information that was wrong thinking this would go away in a month or so. Making dates of closing down schools is only a disappointment waiting if the virus level is still not down. This will be with us until the end of next year when the vaccine is fully effective. So enjoy the times when you can get back to some things although that does not mean the virus is gone

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 24th, 2020 11:43 AM

It would seem that we have hired Superintendents who are so in over their heads that they cannot make a decision, so the survey and the consultant are brought in while they flounder. It is what you get when job qualifications for leadership roles become merely the appearance of the candidates. Maybe we should skip the middlemen and just hire the consultants to be the superintendents next time.

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