In parts of the US, schools have closed for the summer, and teachers have breathed a sigh of relief. For many, the act of balancing their own children with the demands of teaching remotely is nearly impossible.
There are many “plans” being suggested for what happens to school in September. One plan I’ve heard of that brings chills up my spine is “alternate day.” In this plan, half of the students in a school will attend on “A” day and receive remote instruction by their teachers on “B” day. The other half of the students will attend on “B” day and be instructed remotely on “A” day. Of course, this means teachers are in school both A days and B days, managing students in person and remotely at the same time. I don’t know if that plan will fly – if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that education bureaucracy reveals guidelines at the last possible moment.
Aside from the fact that this is twice as much work for the teachers, it also brings to question what teachers do about their own children who are, presumably, attending school only half the time. Who supervises these children when their parents are at work?
I can lose sleep imagining all of the ways September can be bad, and I’m grateful that I’m not the one making these tough decisions.
If you need to take time off from work to care for your children because your children are home due to school or daycare closures because of Coronavirus, there is a Federal plan in place to help you. It’s called Families First Coronavirus Response Act and it provides emergency paid leave for people who need time off for this reason. It is available until the end of 2020, although it’s forseeable that it will be extended if the stay at home orders continue, and provides 2/3 of your normal pay, up to $200 per day, for up to 12 weeks. Additionally, the 12 weeks don’t need to be taken all at once but can be taken on an hour by hour basis.
If you need to apply for federal relief to care for your family, more information can be found about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act here.