Junior HS year - to go back to F2F or not?

These are such hard times for all. My kids, especially my rising junior, is having a really hard time facing the return to school. I would appreciate your thoughts.

They attend a private school that is planning a full return to face-to-face instruction beginning August 10th. We would be the first local school to start, and only the privates are returning fully. All publics in our area, and state, are on a limited return with most choosing fully remote or at least offering students a remote option. Ours has no option other than full return. Masks will not be required unless social distancing is not possible. Enrollment has grown with public school families searching for alternatives, but classrooms really cannot accommodate the existing numbers and also achieve distancing.

My daughter is probably the top ranked student. She’s very involved in sports and clubs, team captain, leadership on clubs, etc. But she is very concerned about returning as she’s almost certain that the restrictions that have been communicated will not be enforced. She’s been attending a small group SAT/ACT class and tennis practice and she’s not observed any precautions being taken by staff and volunteers on campus. I definitely think the staff will follow precautions initially, but I think it will depend on each teacher what happens once class begins, and over time I think everyone will relax. And my daughter is confident that most students will not follow rules, and that socially she will be left out by choosing to be careful. The secondary concern is the quality of remote instruction if she has to stay home (receives a positive test or someone in our house does). Since they don’t have an online option, we don’t know how she will “keep up” in classes if she has to stay home for a week or two. I also think it’s very possible that there will be cases and the school will end up fully remote. They did a decent job in the spring, given the situation, but I do not think the quality of instruction was good at all – they were just in survival mode. I think the actual academic quality would be far superior with a program that specializes in online instruction.

SO, what are your thoughts on enrolling in an online program for junior year? How do you think that will look on her transcript? I would think that this year will be forgiving on all fronts. It’s also possible that there will not end up being sports or clubs at her current school. But she’s worked hard and is interested in applying to competitive schools so we wouldn’t want her choice to limit her in the future. The school has room in their enrollment for her to stay home this year, or even just this semester, and return later. She would likely lose her valedictorian status, but that’s no guarantee of that anyway, and while it’s a great accomplishment, does valedictorian of a class of 30 earn you anything other than a little bragging rights?

My second child is an eighth grader and REALLY thrived in online schooling so it would be easy to take her out of the brick-and-mortar.

Parenting is hard. Covid-19 is hard :(.

Many, many parents are moving their students to fully online education this fall. This will not be a mark against your daughter. Everyone’s school year will be affected by the pandemic - well except maybe for students in New Zealand.

It is deeply concerning that your daughter’s school has no plan for online work if the facility must be closed down, or if a student must be quarantined. That would be a big red warning flag for me. There are so many resources out there to help teachers and schools be ready for online education for the fall, that there is absolutely no excuse for her school to not be ready.

My kid is long gone from high school. She’s now in grad school and has just finished re-writing the class that she will teach this fall so that it can be delivered entirely online. She started the redesign even before speaking with her advisor about shifting from hybrid to exclusively online because she doesn’t want to be responsible for any of her students becoming sick.

I would not send my child to a school where masks are not required and better safety precautions are in place. I’m not a fan of online schooling/education. She sounds like a great candidate for homeschooling. I homeschooled my kids until hs and can give you some great resources if you’re interested.

You would have lost me at they “have no option other than full return.” That is not a plan. You are giving them tuition money and they don’t have a plan?


If it was me and I was in a state that isn’t taking strong precautions by requiring masks and 6 feet between students then there’s no way I’d send my kid back. In NJ your school would be out of compliance with the regulations. If your state doesn’t have strict regulations then there will be an outbreak of covid. My kids health isn’t worth some fancy admission somewhere. I’m allowing my 8th grader to try the hybrid plan of 2 days in person and online the rest of the week because the entire school will be masked, temperature checked and 6 feet apart. She’s willing to keep a mask on without complaint. I’d pull her in a heartbeat if she wasn’t compliant.