• Heather Pawelkiewicz

The American Academy of Pediatrics Weighs in on the Benefits of Students Returning to School

Updated: Apr 7

speech therapy classroom
The AAP wants students back in schools!

We made it to July! Seems like the longest three months and the shortest three months of our lives, since the beginning of this pandemic in March. Teachers have had to learn how to teach virtually and parents have had to learn common core (or perhaps the children learned the "old school" way). Either way, parents were catapulted into a teaching career that most would like to retire from at the end of this school year. So, what are states and counties doing when it comes to the 2020/2021 school year?

Some counties in Georgia, for example, are providing both in-person, and remote teaching. Parents can opt for either virtual school or in-building, but this would be for at least the entire semester, if not the whole year. This seems like a pretty good compromise and allows for families to do what is best for them. The details would likely be ever-changing, as we learn more and more about this novel virus.

As parents, you may be wondering what is best for your family. Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that "schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being and provide our children and adolescents with academic instruction, social and emotional skills, safety, reliable nutrition, physical/speech and mental health therapy, and opportunities for physical activity, among other benefits." The AAP states that there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children due to school closures. Often, schools are the first to identify depression, learning disabilities, abuse, etc. With children not attending schools, the ones in need are not being identified and are therefore, not receiving the treatment from which they could benefit.

The AAP also understands that flexible guidelines would need to be in place in order for schools to accept students into their buildings. These guidelines need to be adaptable, as we continue to have a better understanding of the virus and which preventive measures are working. These guidelines are detailed in the article "Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry."

Whatever parents choose to do next school year, should be respected, as each family situation is unique. This is a time when parents should show support, rather than judge others.

Remember, we're better together!

#aap #americanacademyofpediatrics #backtoschool #ourfirstyear #covid #educationmatters

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