In his press briefing on April 28th, Governor Newsom announced his plan to consider starting school in late July or early August in an effort to make up for some of the learning that was lost from the sudden school closure. A benefit of school returning soon is that there would be a chance to catch up on some of the lost learning by the sudden shutdown and difficulties on online platforms. Micheal Stewart, a Buena math teacher, believes that one benefit of an early start would be that “Students will be closer to the material that was left behind with the closure and we would have more time to catch up.”
As businesses reopen, parents will need to return to work. If kids return to school during summer, there would be less stress on parents while they are working. Additionally, scientists believe that COVID-19 will worsen in the winter months, so reopening school in the summer would give more time for in-class learning before another stay-at-home order might have to be put in place.
In the event that schools must do a combination of online learning and classroom learning, the shortened summer break might not give the teachers enough time to design new lesson plans. In case they need to do both online learning and part time in the classroom. Further complicating the situation is the California budget crisis, leading to a possible $6.5 billion cut to school’s funding, making it even more difficult for schools to afford to put in place social distancing measures. Returning quickly doesn’t give the schools enough time to modify classrooms for social distancing.
With the sudden closure of the school campuses shortly before spring break, students had no time to say goodbye to their friends and teachers, leading to confusion and for many, sudden isolation. Students and teachers alike are learning to live with the new normal. Shortening the summer break will not give everyone time to adjust. Norma Saatjian, a Buena history teacher, believes that “Students need and deserve to have a summer break regardless of the current state restrictions. Returning early will only cause further disruption to their lives during this pandemic.”
In an article written by Susan Krauss Whitebourne Ph.D., “The Importance of Vacations to Our Physical and Mental Health” on Psychologytoday, “Chronic Stress takes its toll in part on our body’s ability to resist infection…” Given that we’re in a pandemic, it is important to take any measure necessary to lower our chances of catching COVID-19. She goes on to discuss the fact that vacations can break the cycle of stress, making us more productive and happy human beings. It seems to be that it’s more important than ever that students and faculty alike are given an opportunity to relax and recharge before starting the next school year.