For the families with kids under the age of 12 that are ineligible for the vaccine in the U.S., the 2021-2022 school year is inciting fear due to the risks with in-person learning. As schools in Virginia are taking the nonvirtual route, parents are both relieved for their children as well as uneasy with the periods of time their child spends in the populated building.
With school being fully in-person, parents are thinking about both the benefits of learning in a classroom and the dangers the virus presents.
Mrs. Weaver, a teacher at Hidden Valley, has two children under the age of twelve who are attending in-person school. When asked how she feels about sending them, she replied:
“We hope that with masking in the schools, the risk of potential exposures is fairly low and we are keeping our fingers crossed that everyone stays healthy…I also feel that after so much isolation in the past 18 months, my children definitely benefit from being in the classroom with other students, even if it means masking and social distancing. They need the social interaction that comes from being with other children their age, and that is something that cannot be replicated at home.”
For Sophie Iglesias (11), a student at Hidden Valley, the cases at her younger sister’s school have caused them to go virtual for a week, resulting in feelings of worry.
“If I were asked at the beginning of the school year, I would’ve said that it’d be good for them to be at school five days a week, but now knowing that cases have risen at her school makes me think it would be better if they only did in-person a few days a week rather than the whole week.”
As families send their children to school, the risks of exposure and the benefits of socialization in a classroom setting are topics that are being thought about in wanting the best for the education and wellbeing of their child.