Many of you have asked about our school plans for the fall. Whether we are going remote or in-person. Whether we will be going back to the city or staying at the house. I haven’t shared up until now because they are a bit complicated. Also, our plan depends on our schools’ plans and NYC’s plan, so nothing seems set in stone.
Here’s where we are right now.
Mazzy will be going back to school remotely, starting 6th grade on September 8th. Her school decided to delay in-person opening until at least October, when they will assess the situation and make another decision. We support this plan 100%. They did a really good job with virtual learning last spring and I feel confident that they will do an even better job this year. They’ve also shared with us all of the added safety measures they will be implementing should we go back to in-person, and it sounds like they have the will and the resources to get it right. We considered switching Mazzy to a school by the house, but the schools around here are currently doing a hybrid plan (with the possibility of switching to full remote) and we feel more comfortable with the virtual plan at her current school. My prediction is that in October, Mazzy’s school will decide to continue remote learning, but who knows. Perhaps, in-person will become an option and we will be faced with another decision to make.
Harlow will be attending a new school. This was a decision we made at the end of last year based on some of her reading struggles. We thought we could help her with additional tutoring, but being home with her during remote learning gave us a clearer picture of what she needed. We feel very lucky to have been able to get her into an excellent school that we think will be a better fit. Harlow was upset initially (she loves her old school and friends, as do we), but now she’s come around. She’s excited to go somewhere new. She was especially excited when I told her that she gets to bring her own lunch, because at her old school, she had to eat whatever they served at the school cafeteria.
So, in addition to going back to school during a pandemic, in whatever fashion that means, Harlow will be a new student.
Harlow’s new school is planning to go back in-person, five days a week, starting with a slow phase-in period on September 8th. It’s because of Harlow’s school that we will be going back to the city next week. Mazzy will be doing school remotely from the apartment, while Harlow attends in-person classes. Case numbers are low in New York City, the class sizes will be very small (around eight kids) and it seems like the new school is going above and beyond to implement all the necessary protocols. They have been preparing all summer and kids can switch to remote at any time.
We plan to spend the first week with all four of us in the apartment, going back to the house on the weekend. We continue to feel very fortunate to have this option. If we all drive each other crazy in that first week, then we have discussed the possibility of splitting up, week by week. Mike would stay with Mazzy and Frankie out at the house and I would stay in the city with Harlow, coming back to the house on the weekends. We are also not doing a big “move back to the city” day, bringing back all our stuff. We are going to keep most of their things in the house and pack just what we need for the city, week by week. Kind of the reverse of how we used to do it. I think we will all feel more comfortable in our apartment with less stuff.
What still remains to be seen is what will happen to NYC once school goes back in session. If public schools shut down due to rising case numbers, will Harlow’s school shut down too? Will having all the safety protocols in place make a difference? A large part of me thinks Harlow’s in-person classes won’t last long. Regardless, we think it would be best for Harlow to see her school, meet her teachers and make new friends (even if it’s just for a few weeks) to help her feel connected to her new environment.
If in-person school gets canceled and she ends up remote, we will adapt.
But this is our plan right now.