WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– “It’s been an adjustment because she didn’t really understand why she had to wear a mask all day,” says Caitlin Houston.
Her daughter, Annabelle, who just started 1st grade in Wallingford, is getting used to the new safety protocols in place. Right now, she’s in school every day.
“They have these little windows on their desks,” explains Houston. “The first day, she was upset about it but, the second day, they got to decorate them. So, now, they have their own personal windows with family stuff on it.”
“The biggest logistical challenge for us has been dropping off and picking up,” says Charlotte Smith, of Southport who has five kids, ranging in age from 5 to 11, attending three different Fairfield schools. The older children have a hybrid model while her youngest is spending the most time in a classroom.
“They’ve moved a lot of the learning outside,” says Smith. “There are no parents allowed in the building.”
Houston has a unique perspective. She recovered from a grueling bout of COVID-19 last spring. Her anxiety is increasing as she sees schools beginning to close due to cases.
“What if my children were to bring it home and this time they actually get sick and I get worse. How will we function as a family?” says this former teacher, also worried about the impact on education if it continues to be disrupted. “That’s going to throw them off schedule and little kids need that routine, that consistency.”
But both of these moms, who are bloggers, believe that in this peculiar, uncertain and even scary time, educators and administrators are doing the best they can.
“Even though the logistics are intense, it’s definitely worth it to have these kids go into a learning environment where they can engage with their teachers one-on-one,” says Smith.
“I don’t think there’s anything else they can do that we have control over,” says Houston. “Everything else is out of our control.”
As the school year moves forward, these moms believe flexibility and adaptability will remain vital skills.