Lake County School District is navigating a variety of bad options. T h a t ’ s h o w p a r e n t Beverly Lauchner put it in a Lake County School District (LCSD) Board of Education meeting last week.
“It’s about doing the best we can with a bunch of bad options,” Lauchner stated at the meeting, which was held to gather input from district students, parents and staff.
This idea, that the district must move forward with bad options, was a rare and poignant point of consensus among the meeting’s 60+ participants.
Most of the opinions presented at the meeting, viewpoints voiced with varying levels of anxiety, frustration and sadness, were different in nature.
Many teachers and parents spoke to the importance of consistency. We are just getting into a groove on this “yellow” thing, a few teachers said, let us continue to improve on it.
T h e t e a c h e r s w e r e referring LCSD’s yellow model, the district’s current approach to in-person learning where students attend school on alternating days. The green model, a full return to in-person learning, was also discussed at the meeting.
Some thought a transition to “green” would actually amount to less in-person instruction time, reasoning that closer contact between students would lead to more at-home quarantines.
Multiple parents mentioned the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19’s long-term health impacts on children. “Students can recover from falling behind in education but not in death,” John Baker said.
Third grade teacher Katrina Hanger offered a differing perspective. “We may not know the long term effects of Corona but we do know the long term effects of not being able to read in the third grade.”
A few LCSD employees highlighted the benefits of cohorting: smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time with teachers. Others discussed the importance of keeping kids enrolled in the district, as well as teacher retention.
Attendees also noted the need to support student households without WiFi, as well as the need to fine tune the district’s “second day supports” for the days children are not in school.
Sometimes, antonyms can coexist. Think of statesman and civil rights leader John Lewis and his lifelong dedication to “good trouble.” Despite all the uncertainty, LCSD’s dedication to creating good outcomes from bad options is clear.
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