Kids are at risk of falling behind if school don’t reopen

The governor’s shutdown in response to covid-19 has reshaped our lives. Shifting from in-person to virtual significantly affects most sectors, including in-classroom attendance rates of all students and particularly adversely impacts at-risk youth.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students educated by professional teachers achieve much higher success throughout their education, while students confined to learning at home suffer degraded outcomes; especially underprivileged youth.

The skills students learn from their K-12 provide for a successful adult life. Quality of life for all adults begins with a job (and better-educated graduates secure better-paying jobs)! Washington public schools exist to serve this vital role.

When school district officials elect to close public schools, there are ways to mitigate adverse consequences inflicted on students. A compelling example is the Graduation Alliance: Its Attendance Recovery Program enables school districts to retrieve at-risk students by providing them with the specialized assistance they need.

Washington Superintendent Chris Reykdal must reopen our schools, as well as implement programs like the Graduation Alliance, to restore students’ attendance rates and get students back on track. Virtual learning is a serious challenge for students and parents alike.

Administrators must return our teachers to their classrooms to ensure K-12 students have the greatest likelihood of graduation with an employable set of skills as they embark on their adult years.

John Fluke

Seattle

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