Many schools return to action this week and cogent metaphors fail me now, knowing full well that at least some death is likely, for children, teachers and their parents and communities. And yet still, it’s all happening.

I’ve heard so many stories from so many troubled parents on both sides of the decision to send or not to send: grave concerns from those sending their children, some centered on risk of infection, but others primarily focused on frustrations with flailing school districts struggling to make difficult calls to please all concerned parties. The hybrid model has definite fleas, and in the case of college or private boarding school, the described circumstances literally sound worse than prison. Is it worth it?

Those who have elected to keep their kids home are hardly on holiday from trouble either. First, they struggle to locate the resources just to take care of their children with one or both parents working, much less to educate them in any meaningful way. Second, a related trouble, what of the psychological cost of distancing your child? What about the depression, anxiety and other social-emotional cost of extended distance? If they are supplementing with distance learning on zoom, how much value will their children actually get from a long period of time on a screen? These questions demand answers yet inherently offer none.

All of this feels very hopeless, of course. But I do have some resources that can help, and perhaps in taking action… any action at all– we may feel a bit better about it:

Here is an article about how to better prepared your child for virtual learning if you’re in a hybrid or distance situation:

7 Ways to Better Prepare Kids for Virtual or Hybrid Learning

Parents, teachers, and students scrambled to figure out remote learning once the COVID-19 pandemic began. Here’s what experts say parents can do to be ahead of the game for the 2020-2021 school year. As summer draws to a close, school districts nationwide are scrambling to make plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

Here’s an article that gives advice on parents of children who are entirely new to distance learning:

How to Help When Your Child Is the New Kid in a Virtual Classroom

This school year is going to be downright bizarre. There is a lot of new in our new normal to adjust to-especially if, in addition to everything else, you’re also the new kid in what is suddenly a virtual classroom.

Here’s a decision-making tool on parents still undecided on whether to send their children to school:

Communities, Schools, Workplaces, & Events

Provides a tool to help parents, caregivers, and guardians weigh risks and benefits of in-person and virtual learning to decide how to send children back to school.

Finally, here are some pointers on dealing with the anxiety that we, as parents, are coping with in making these difficult choices:

Ready or Not, Here We Go… Back to School?

For months we have been discussing back-to-school plans for our K-12 and higher education institutions. By and large, these anxiety-dominated conversations have been happening on politicized, theoretical stages, with little input from the students and parents, or staff, teachers, and faculty directly impacted by these decisions.

While we, personally, have a plan on what to do with our two school-aged children, it is one that has many corollaries and deviations built in. It is not absent of perils and errors and potentially even regret, but it is an answer. And that’s all anyone can honestly create, in the absence of psychic ability, now.