• 73°

It is time to get behind the district’s plan to reopen schools

Since the Vicksburg Warren School District announced its decision to start the upcoming school year on schedule, there has been a debate.

Since the Vicksburg Warren School District announced its plan on how it will welcome children back beginning Aug. 7 — offering both an in-person and distance learning option — there has been a debate.

Since the Vicksburg Warren School District offered detailed plans on how schools will work to better protect students, teachers and staff from the threat of the COVID-19 virus, there has been a debate.

But the question some would have is why such a debate?

Leading up to the district’s decision, which was later approved by the Board of Trustees, the district asked for and welcomed the thoughts and ideas from thousands of parents, teachers and other district personnel. It studied the feedback, the suggestions and the ideas to formulate what it felt was the best possible plan to return to school.

And while the plan brought together those ideas and suggestions into one that would serve the most children and addressed the most concerns there was still a debate. There was still complaining.

But again, we ask, why?

For those who want to send their children back to school, there are plans in place — down to the smallest of details — on how schools and classes will operate, when children will be allowed to do what, and what steps will be taken if and when a child shows symptoms.

For those who do not want to send their children back just yet, there is a distance learning plan that allows for children to continue their educational development under the guidance of certified teachers.

And, the plan is built to where parents can change their minds and move to one option or the other.

The overall plan is built with the best information available, with the best advice and consent available. And, the plan was built with the involvement and participation of thousands of parents, teachers and staff.

The plan to reopen schools did not come down from on-high. It was not dictated to us or an order placed upon us. It was built by us, by our community and for our children.

It may not be perfect, but at this time, during this year, all we can ask is for everyone to do their best. This plan is that.

The debate on how, what and when may never be settled or ended, but it is time to rally for our schools, rally for our teachers and rally for this plan to be successful.