First Day of a Different Sort of School Year

New school years are always a jumble of nerves and anticipation. But this year is a very different sort of school year, with COVID-19 adding extra layers of uncertainty and awkwardness.

Our kids are scheduled to attend school in-person two days a week: on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This will be supplemented with remote instruction and homework to be completed online, at home.

Olivia is starting her junior year at Kent Theodore Roosevelt High School today. She’s going to be starting a new program in the Career Technical Education department called Teaching Professions. In an interesting twist, her in-person, classroom instruction on the role of an educator is going to be provided by a teacher electronically-streamed into the classroom (presumably because of some health concerns), overseen by a classroom monitor. Olivia will also be a part of the school’s top choir — which will have some carefully-controlled in-person instruction. But no performances.

That all sounds about right for 2020, doesn’t it?

Cor is starting the 8th grade, his last year at Kent Stanton Middle School. He’s excited about playing a leadership role on his Soccer Team, and he’s looking for a sponsorship deal from Adidas. He’s most excited about his American History class. And he’s most anxious about playing trombone in the band (also with a lot of precautions that have been outlined for us by email). I never thought we’d be sending him to school with a mask carefully-slit in the middle to allow passage for a mouthpiece…

But again, that’s 2020 for you!

I’m confident that they will learn and grow this year. Maybe even in extra-meaningful ways that they wouldn’t normally be able to learn and grow. Here’s wishing, hoping, and praying for the best this school year!


(In case you were wondering, Elliot started his freshman year at Kent State University last Thursday. All of his classes are remote this year, but he also seems to be making the best of things.)

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