DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — School leaders and educators say the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will have lasting ripple effects on future generations of students.
Montgomery County Education Service Center Superintendent Shannon Cox says the plan for the 2020-2021 school year is a work in progress and still unfolding; but she says she doesn’t believe schooling will ever again look like it did before the pandemic.
“There are no right answers. There are absolutely– every answer is a wrong answer to someone,” says Cox.
Starting in March, teachers and students were forced to be part of a new learning curve.
“The COVID crisis has really pulled the band-aid off of the inequities that happen in our communities– The digital divide, the access to devices, and the access to internet,” lists Cox.
School officials are re-evaluating, looking at how to bridge the gap, as a digital component will likely be part of education moving forward.
“We’ve taken our mouse and we’ve hovered over the 21st century for about 19 years now. And we’re finally like had to click the button and say we’re joining the 21st century of technology,” describes Cox. “As hard as this was, what we really did is we took our old school classrooms and we slid them over into Google, and Zoom, and what have you.”
It’s still unclear exactly what education will look like in the fall.
While the pandemic has highlighted challenges and taken a toll socially, it’s shattered previous ideals of how learning should take place, giving leaders an opportunity to re-tool and improve the system.
“If we go back to school in the fall, and it looks exactly the same, then I think shame on us because then we haven’t done our due diligence,” states Cox.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says safety guidelines are currently being developed for going back to school in the fall.