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School modification for new year proposed

School districts throughout the U.S. are discussing how and when and even if students can return to class in the fall, especially since COVID-19 continues to infect, and no vaccine is available.

In August, one of my grandsons will be starting high school. His last semester at middle school was online, and he did well in those classes.

Most students, I understand, managed fairly easily with online classes, but some didn’t, for a wide variety of reasons.

My grandson has been wondering how he will begin high school in the midst of questions andconcerns, and here’s his worthy suggestion:

• At least for the first semester, require only the students who made below a C average last semester to attend school (in person). All other students could continue online classes for at least the fall semester. Obviously, some teachers (maybe the older ones, more at risk with the virus) could continue teaching online classes while a portion of other teachers would be in the classroom.

• The classes, obviously, would be small (under 10 per class), and so health precautions would be more easily met and the usual “discipline problems” would probably decline. We want to emphasize these classes would be “real,” not like a detention study hall where students, in past years, have been on their own and often end up failing. The teachers in attendance would focus on teaching students how to learn, perhaps even how to have fun in class learning. With fewer students, creative, caring teachers could get to know the “weaker” students who often need more help and individualized instruction.

• Thus, students would receive greater personal academic attention from the teachers, maybe for the first time in their lives, and teachers could become more innovative.

• The success rate of these students would probably rise, as would their self-confidence.

They could also learn better how to complete online classes, and so perhaps by the next semester, another option of student attendance could be considered. But, at least for the 2020 fall semester, those considered the “weaker” students, with their peers, would have received at least a full semester of hands-on personal help from classroom teachers in a less stressful, perhaps more creative learning environment.

Darlene Logan Lakehills