A Bear Valley Middle School student works on a class assignment. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

As a parent of a student of the subject school, I feel Ashly McGlone’s article “One North County School Managed to Open and (Mostly) Stay Open,” is one-sided. It speaks to the positive aspects that the school and the administration have done to offer a hybrid in-person opportunity but not at all mention the reduction of the instruction time and the impact that will have on the goals for the academic year. The questions should have been raised and asked regarding the instructional impact as the students are getting less than half of their instruction time. When will that be made up? How will that be made up? What is the plan to get kids back on track for their academic goals, or are we changing the goals?

Sadly this article only emphasizes the positive and doesn’t mention the negative side that the kids are missing out on over 50 percent of their educational instruction hours. That was the trade-off with the district and teachers union. Rather than having cameras in class and the kids swapping whether they were in person or on Zoom and maintaining the hours of instruction. They go for two days a week like two normal days. Do you know what the students do on their off days? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Logically if you rationalize that it takes 100 hours of instruction to cover the requirements for a certain curriculum but now are only providing 50 hours, then you are basically saying it is up to the student to figure out the other 50 hours on their own or more realistically, “Too bad you only learn half of what was planned, but be grateful you have time in person.” That is a very big factor that shouldn’t have been left out of the article. It is not even mentioned. The article should have provided the balance of the negative loss of instruction along with the positive aspects of being back in person, which we are very grateful for – but not the full picture. There are more questions to be asked and answered with regard to the curriculum goals and how they will be achieved or modified.

Michelle Golding is the parent of a seventh grade student at Bear Valley Middle School.

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