Can we make school work?

Opinion: Editorials

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It is with relief and some trepidation, we expect, that Forest Park elementary school parents read the news that District 91 Supt. Louis Cavallo told the school board last week that, in some form, school is likely to reopen come fall.

For those exhausted by home schooling, dubious about the long-term success of e-learning for an 8-year-old, and assuming they will eventually be called back to their offices to earn a paycheck, this is what headway in a pandemic looks like.

Finally Forest Park's dwindling enrollment and plentiful school buildings are going to be an asset. Spreading kids out in classrooms already underpopulated is easier than in schools that are overcrowded.

Training youngsters to wear a mask all day long will be hard. And as Eric Conner, a school board member, said last week, the superintendent's tentative plan calls for ending students working together in groups on projects, keeps them in a single classroom all day and limits many other forms of interaction including, it seems likely, recess.

This sort of interaction, focus on shared learning, less lecturing, and more discovering is, as Conner pointed out, the entire direction D91's curriculum has been moving in recent years. Cavallo agreed fully.

All of which makes us wonder how dismal the district's assessment of a fall semester based on e-learning really was.

We will all learn together how to make education work as best as possible in these hard days.

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