Our family’s current plans for school in the fall. We pieced together a hybrid program I am hoping will work.

I have been praying and fasting and researching and trying to ask my current school questions (with no response from the calls and emails I have sent – we finally went in person and sort of got answers, but pretty much they seem unsure)

I have 2 big concerns –

1. Health of my son and family
– We have spent the summer being very limiting in the friends he sees and try to keep activites outdoors as much as possible when he sees them, so he is on average connecting in person with friends in person once a week, if that.
– After being so cautious for so many months, It seems kind of crazy to then just send him to school where he will be exposed to at least 80 other kids a day – he is in high school, so will be changing classes so that number seems about right or potentially low. (there are about 20 kids in each of his classes and I imagine some kids will be in his classes multiple times)
– I am pretty sure it is just a matter of time before there will be outbreaks in schools and they will close down, meaning he is much more likely to be exposed to covid if he goes to in person school.

2. Educational Quality –
-Since schools probably will end up being closed, I also am worried about his education. I really wanted his core classes to be online in a format that is set up for successful online experiences.
– Last year the teachers and students did there best being thrown into online schooling. Bryson did ok and I know his teachers were doing their best, but I knew there had to be better options out there.
– I researched online schools, talked to other parents who had done online schools and finally picked Mountain Heights, I liked how their curriculum was set up and how responsive they were to my emails and questions. They would reply usually within an hour and have been super helpful!

Bryson’s concern –
He wants to be with friends. He also doesn’t want to lose his spot in his charter school.

Our compromise –
SOEP is something Utah has, that means a child can stay registered at their brick and mortar school and take up to 4 classes at an accredited online school. Mountain Heights told me about that option, when I explained Bryson’s concerns.

This program means –

– He can stay registered at his brick and mortar school. So it holds his spot.
– He will take 6 classes there in person and we are getting the schedule so he will just have those classes on A day.
– Since he only has to go on A days, he will go in person to school on only Monday and Wednesdays.
– He will be exposed to smaller group of kids and for only 2 days a week instead of 5. (Still more kids than I like but it feels like a good compromise)
– He gets to see (and interact?) with friends those days.
– He can get quality online instruction in English, Math and Science with teachers that have been teaching that way for years on a platform that is set up for online learning and student success.

Hopefully it will be a win/win. I am still a little nervous he will be going to school in person, but I also know that life has inherint risks and we are low risk and healthy, so at this point I am feeling OK about this choice.

This was not easy to come to and we defintiely put in our work with making this decision.

What have you decided?? I know it isn’t an easy choice and I honor whatever direction you choose is best for your family.

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