Closing schools a tough call but the right decision

The social interaction kids get in the classroom with their peers is as important to their learning and development as arithmetic and biology.

Many kids just don’t learn well in the kind of environment offered by online courses.

And many parents struggle to balance watching their kids at home with the mandates of their job.

We understand all of those concerns, but we still think the Northeast Michigan schools who decided to keep kids learning at home through winter break — including Alpena Public Schools — made the right call.

Kids need consistency. Parents need predictability.

With the virus still raging in our communities, the risk that schools might bring kids back only to have to send them home again because of a virus scare was just too great.

While health experts say there’s little evidence the virus is spreading among students at schools, organized sports and other school-related activities are making people sick. And the biggest issues schools have faced are staff shortages: With teachers and other employees either infected and quarantining or exposed to an infected person and quarantining, many schools just haven’t had enough people to bring kids into the schools.

It’s just not worth the risk to try to force normalcy right now.

School leaders’ decision to keep kids home was likely unpopular, but we congratulate area school leaders on making the tough decision. Their reasoning is sound.


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