School doors are open and no one is happier than students, parents, teachers and school administrators who have been preparing for this moment since the fall of last year.
COVID-19 brought classroom education to a screeching halt in the middle of classes last year — a period described by many as one of the most devastating and traumatic periods in the lives of children across the country. For months, students were required to adapt to a virtual academic environment devoid of teachers who could manage each student’s diverse academic achievement levels and unable to engage with classmates with whom they could experience learning together.
The pandemic is not over yet and it’s threatening to become worse. Still, students and teachers armed with face masks, assigned to seats with desk shields and with multiple bottles of hand sanitizer posted nearby, have entered the early stages of traditional learning once again.
Assessing the impact of virtual learning will rest in the hands of teachers who may still lack the extra time and resources to ensure students’ success. It’s no surprise that some students didn’t advance to the next grade and are repeating a year all over again. If they’re lucky, they’ve received incentives to motivate them to work hard and hopefully catch up in less time than the year they lost.
We recognize that the responsibility for student success does not entirely rest in the hands of teachers. All sectors of the local community also play a role. It’s been heartwarming to see so much support pouring in from businesses, churches, politicians and community leaders who organized giveaways of school clothing, supplies and even haircuts to better prepare students for the first days of the 2021-22 school year.
We are incredibly hopeful for the success of every student this year and pledge to do our part to make educating all children our priority, as well.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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