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Thankful for Missouri’s educational response

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During the past week, state officials in states like Maryland and California made announcements regarding plans to open up their school districts for in-person learning.

In my home state of Maryland, all of the state’s districts had a virtual school year through most of the first semester and into 2021.

A couple of counties did open up in a similar way to how Missouri’s counties opened their districts.

Unfortunately, I have many family members and friends who have battled the countless challenges of kids working in the public school system while at home for several months now.

In a state with high taxes and the need for both parents to work being greater than in many rural parts of Missouri, I’m uncertain as to how they have been able to navigate through the school year balancing the need for kids to be at home to learn and the requirements of each employer.

In reflecting on this, I truly am thankful I get to live in Missouri.

Our state officials had to navigate this challenging pandemic making decisions and recommendations on how schools should operate during the year of 2020-2021.

By God’s grace, here we are in February. In Wright County, our local districts made changes as they needed to in the high schools when COVID-19 cases increased at different times.

Sports seasons have, for the most part, went on and have been interrupted only in small spurts. We are currently in the winter sports season and games have taken place as scheduled.

There have been countless basketball tournaments in recent weeks and there have not been any reported cases of COVID-19 outbreaks from them.

In the Maryland county I grew up in, their fall sports season is finally starting this week on Feb. 13.

Yes, that is their fall season starting just one month before the calendar moves from winter into spring.

I do know that we still have many local parents who have complained to their school district on how contract tracing was sending their asymptomatic child home for two weeks. And in many cases, that is fair criticism as missing two weeks of in-person instruction and interaction can affect students in a negative way.

But at least they have scheduled school to miss. Missouri officials and administrations and staff members at our local school districts should be commended on how they have navigated their way through the pandemic. In may not be perfect, but in its imperfection, all us should be proud to be Missourians and remain grateful we are not living in some other state.

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