I had to re-read your choices to get to the "OR" on this one to get a choice I was happy with that said "yes, I'd heard about the idea, but no I'm not doing it." Lumping the two options into that "OR" is pretty biased. I'd be interested to see the true "no" number .. heard about it and said no, which is what Saeborn was writing about. Either way, it still looks like it would come in behind the "I feel torn", which is interesting. I thought Saeborn did a terrific job in her essay. She did an especially thoughtful job, I thought, of laying back out equity and segregation. Now, I have to tell you as background that we did leave Cambridge for Brookline after a poor experience at MLK in 2014-15 when my daughter would not be allowed into the language immersion program because she was white even though she was way beyond the Mandarin levels of 2nd grade in the non-immersion level. The school was holding spaces for black and low-income students who had dropped out (and unlikely to return with adequate Mandarin skills in higher grades) in order to keep up the diversity ratio. When I calculated for them that 6 students would have to leave to then free up a 7th seat for my child to hold the ratio, they still did not budge. Since the rest of the school was lacking, we were going to stay only because all subjects were going to be taught in Mandarin, then we moved to Brookline. In Brookline we are fighting to stay in the public system even though there are still the equity challenges of homeless children and more. The teachers are more motivated and the energy of the town is stronger to keep the reputation high. I heard about the pandemic pods from my friend in North Carolina, actually, where some are doing them on their cul-de-sacs because of busing and so kids can play together outside. The NC public schools do not have the reputation as some of our Boston public schools. Not having to navigate a school bus is a luxury we take for granted right now. Back to education and my concern about her “falling behind”: My daughter is now in the 8th grade and I’m thinking about her readiness for high school and her level of education. She admits she was academically bored by the end of "Coronacation" even though she was hardly out of PJs and was emotionally grumpy and hard to get on her few, and basically optional, online classes. She is excited to get into the building when that happens, you can do your own reading on Brookline's RemotePlus that was just announced. Thinking about what students learn for actual content in even 10th grade and below ... they are learning how to learn and setting themselves up to be able to take AP classes, hopefully. We want them to develop a love of reading and the problem solving skills and approach to dissect life the way one does an algebra (and then calculus) problem. To approach the life theory that you need a "control" ( or baseline) to which to compare any change in your life to see if there actually was an improvement as one does a science experiment. If one truly finds a passion in science or ELA, it may spark in high school and give some direction for their future careers, but putting too much pressure on them to decide to become Doctors, Lawyers and Pulitzer winners now is not what I want to do. What my husband and I are doing now is making her do more independent reading like we had to do when we were growing up. We asked her to pick out 10 books to read for the summer. Admittedly she has read 1.5 because she became addicted to Animal Crossing despite our best efforts to limit playtime. Now that MA has given a start date of September 16th, she is heading into crash ELA time, which she is quite capable of doing. That’s the thing, she can do it when she wants to (and has to) and that’s what I keep reminding myself. It’s not as much the content as the “how to learn” and I think these weird models are going to make our kids learn how to learn in these evolving times.
I haven't heard of any or been invited to any. As a working single mom of tween boys, they really need more social/emotional connection and support.
I was so disappointed in the lack of any education and engagement my daughter received in the spring. But I’m hopeful for the fall. Theo plan seems a lot more solid. More engaging. More learning-focused. So for now, I will keep my fingers crossed. I don’t believe pods are needed in MA. Our school demands masks because the state demands masks. Governor Baker is not going to let schools open without feeling it is safe to do so. Pods may be necessary in places like TX (we saw what happened there), but they aren’t necessary here. And I didn’t even touch on the economic divide this promotes.
I would like to learn more. A fellow single mom was talking to me about this today.