Riverside

School interruptions are hardest for vulnerable students – Riverside, California

Riverside, California 2021-10-23 10:36:16 –

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

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

The outbreak of the coronavirus at school and the individual quarantine orders when students are exposed to the virus make a bet 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 easy as a school bus doesn’t show up.

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

At that time, sending the eldest son to school by public bus meant that the youngest child could not be sent to elementary school in time.

“I feel like they’re leaving my child behind,” Morris said. “Sometimes he feels not important enough for him to be picked up.”

For some families, the problem 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 as long as the infection is negative, despite being exposed to the virus due to language barriers and other communication problems. Hmm.

In addition, some students can keep up with the school remotely during quarantine, some receive little or no guidance, and some lack the internet or connected devices.

Bree Duseau, principal of the University of Washington’s Center for Reinventing the Wheel, said the district must take into account its imbalanced burden as it seeks solutions.

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

On the first day the shortage affected his son’s route, Morris didn’t see an early morning email notification that his son’s bus would be canceled, and two of them waited at the stop for a vehicle that would never come.

Being at home has hit her children. They are both more enthusiastic about learning directly. She said that on the day the bus was canceled and she couldn’t access the lessons of the day, makeup work piled up and she was late for the class.

She said the transition to middle school and the lack of social aspects of being with her peers were particularly difficult for her eldest son.

Robert Balfans, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, said the effects of unpredictable stretching at home could reflect the effects of chronic absenteeism and cause long-term harm to learning. Said there is.

“The irregularity of your attendance is as important as the total amount you missed,” Balfans said. “It remains with you because you miss an important moment of learning that everything else is building up, which can even lead to later frustration.”

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. Revelation was counted as an excuse absent, so Rubin was consistent with live instruction for his reading disabilities, except for two sessions with an expert whose son got in the way to meet him. He said he didn’t get the service.

Without these services, she said he was having a hard time completing work without constant supervision, which he couldn’t provide while working from home.

“There was really nothing,” Rubin said. When her son returned to the classroom, she said the grade felt “starting over.”

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

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

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

About a quarter of the family is unaware of the program, Rivera said. Parents will be notified about the test program when they learn that their child has an intimate relationship, 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? “Rivera said. .. “We 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 she would like to expand messaging through community partners and other methods such as text messaging.

The potential for further confusion is hunting down some parents.

For some time, McKeesport firefighters volunteered to get their children back and forth to school. Recently, Morris’s children’s bus arrived on time. But she is worried that she and her son will be kept waiting again.

“I have that worry behind my heart that it will happen again,” Morris said. “If so, it would be more difficult for me, but I’m just ready to pull the kids out of school and homeschool.”

Ma covers the education and impartiality of AP’s racial and ethnic teams. Follow her on Twitter: https: //www.twitter.com/anniema15

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



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