Lydster: Back to school regimen

my daughter is thriving

The new back to school regimen seems to be going well. My daughter’s high school eased into the new school year with online orientation with the principal and other school leaders on Day 1.

Further orientations for each grade and academy/school division followed. The parents were supposed to participate in this, though we had some technical difficulties.

On the third day, students attended their advisory period, got their regular schedules and the like. The following Monday, students began their schedule of virtual classes. For the next two weeks of class, they had a shortened school day, first in the afternoon, then in the morning.

That last week, students went to the high school to pick up materials and supplies. To keep everyone safe, students were assigned specific days and times to come to school based on their grades and last name. My daughter’s arms were sore for days with all the books plus two different calculators that she carried home.

Change of plans

The City School District of Albany had to change its plans for in-school learning for most of its ts older students. This was a function of “devastating anticipated reductions in state aid that could total as much as $23.2 million for the 2020-21 school year.”

Then the Board of Education confirmed a bunch of administrative changes for virtually every school in the district in early September. It was “part of district-wide staffing reductions.” Principals and assistant principals were either let go or reassigned, effective September 25, after the school year had begun. Imagine the disruption to the schools and to the people’s lives.

Ironically, the students from Myers middle school whose families have selected in-person attendance will attend classes on the first floor of Albany High’s new academic building. Apparently, there are mold and structural problems at my daughter’s former middle school.

With a little help from her friends

When school suddenly stopped in spring 2020, then restarted remotely, this was not a great time for my daughter. She largely tuned out after a few weeks, and only got through the school year because of the work she’d already done to that point. The death of her grandfather on April 22 did not help.

This semester, she had hoped to go back to in-school learning. Still, she knew what she would be facing by late August. The salvation is that a couple of her friends, Tee and Kay, have come over to our house and worked with her.

It is not without risk, I suppose, especially to me. I suppose I fall into that immuno-compromised group for COVID now, though the NYS infection rate is low. But my daughter is thriving when she had not been. THat’s critically important to me. I don’t want her flunking out of 11th grade.