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LETTER: Concerned parents should be encouraged to use online teaching options

Instead of mandating all kids back in class, how about giving web-based alternative learning options

Dear Editor,

[RE: Many questions for Langley teachers as return to school approaches, Aug. 13, Langley Advance Times]

As you reported, parents are split on whether to send kids to school or keep them home.

Rather than tell parents that their children will be taught in school, whether they like it or not, the school district should treat this as an opportunity.

Those parents who want to keep their children at home should be helped to do so.

This will reduce the number of children who do attend school, which will make it easier for school principals to organize their classes and timetables to meet health and safety regulations.

RELATED: From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

Parents who want to keep their kids home should be given access to online materials and support.

The Langley Education Centre already has expertise in this area, and the school district should make sure it has the capacity to cope with additional demand.

There are surely some teachers who are worried about returning to class (either they have health concerns or they live with vulnerable people) and who might welcome being redeployed as online teachers.

Parents who do send their children back to school can be encouraged by the experiences of Switzerland and Denmark, where COVID-19 infection rates dropped after schools reopened (and have actually risen now that schools are on vacation).

Dr. Steve Nicolle, Willoughby

.

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