This past week my wife and I decided to send our two youngest children back to in-person instruction. We made this decision after our third grader told my wife and me that she doesn’t think she is smart enough for online learning. Our kindergartener launched his academic career on a laptop, pretty disengaged with learning and critical interactions with his peers. We felt the social-emotional, and educational impacts on our children outweighed the health risks of returning to campus.
Conversely, our seventh-grade son is thriving online. His dyslexia makes reading difficult, but the adaptive software on his computer has helped him dramatically. Without the added social pressures of the classroom, he is feeling more confident. We are choosing to keep him and his high school brothers online until their schools open.
We are fortunate to live in a state where we can make these choices for our children. One Size does not fit all for my family, nor does it for any family.
Now more than ever, school choice is critical. As governing boards make decisions about keeping schools closed or opening, families need to be able to seek the academic environment that works best for them.
Governing board elections are also critical. Teachers, principals, and even superintendents are not making the decisions to open or close campuses. Governing boards hold that power and electing representatives that reflect the values of the community are essential.
As the Maricopa County School Superintendent, I appoint governing board members when vacancies occur. I always appoint people who respect the community’s values, respect parent choice and keep students at the center of their decision-making. You can learn more about my governing board appointment process here.