Parents and students today are faced with an agonizing decision-send kids back into the classroom in the midst of a pandemic or keep them at home, straining the emotional bandwidth of families that have already been pushed to the limit during lockdown.
Many parents and students feel alone in making their decision, unsure whether schools being open equates to them being safe. A Covid Back To School Guide: Questions and Answers for Parents and Students answers the most pressing question facing parents and students today-is it really safe to go back to school?
Answering that question will never be simple, at least not until the pandemic is over, but A Family Guide to Covidprovides insight that might make the choice a little easier. In the book, Dr. Haseltine walks readers through a simple three step rule of thumb that every family can use to come to the decision that is best for them: What is our student's risk of becoming infected? What is our family's risk of severe illness? And is our school doing enough to protect students from an outbreak on campus?
Each chapter of the book is followed by a series of questions and key takeaways to help parents and students evaluate their risk-questions to ask themselves, their school administrators, and their local leaders. While the question of going back to school is not a simple one, this book simplifies the steps needed to arrive at an answer.
Like A Family Guide, the Back To School Guide is a living book that will be updated as our understanding of the disease and the nature of the outbreak changes. When you purchase a copy of the book, either in print or online, you will receive a special passcode that will give you online access to every subsequent edition of the book, as it is released. The first edition of the book is focused primarily on public schools serving students from kindergarten to grade 12. Subsequent editions will address the unique challenges students attending private schools and colleges will face.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned recently that the world is facing a "generational catastrophe" because of Covid-19 school closures. As Dr. Haseltine puts it, "Our children and grandchildren will one day look back and remember a time when disease stalked the streets and changed their life. My hope is that something good comes of their experience and that they will be inspired to dedicate their lives to learning about science and medicine-whether in schools or learning remotely at home-so that their own children and grandchildren might never have to endure what they did."