There are no simple or obvious answers on how to educate our children during this pandemic. In person. Remote. A hybrid of the two. Each option offers advantages. Each provokes sincere worries.

And the target keeps moving. In late summer it seemed logical to stay remote through, say, Halloween, and then move toward a hybrid. Now though, COVID is again on the march in Illinois, in Chicago.

In the Proviso Township high schools, the district has stayed remote, but its new superintendent, James Henderson, has just forced a reluctant faculty to return to their classrooms to conduct remote learning from there. There is substantial opposition from teachers who worry about contagion. The argument in favor seems to be that the district has invested in teaching technology, located in district classrooms, which will augment remote learning.

Our worry is the seeming heavy-handedness displayed by Henderson in one of his first key encounters with a faculty he needs to nurture, urge, cajole more than he needs to force. Balancing the sometimes conflicting needs of students, parents, teachers is the number one job of a school leader in this moment. This decision reflects less balancing and more show of force.

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