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OUR VIEW

Our view: Don't let missed school days mean missed learning

  • Updated
First Day of School

Parents and children wait to enter Herman Avenue Elementary School on the first day of school in Auburn Sept. 7.

The rising number of coronavirus cases in Cayuga County is putting school districts and families in the difficult position of trying to keep children in classrooms as much as possible while at the same time trying to lessen the spread of the virus.

As schools continue to remain focused on ways to keep students in school five days a week this year, the Cayuga County Health Department is urging families to keep children home if they are exhibiting symptoms of seasonal allergies, because those symptoms can be similar COVID-19.

It's a tough balancing act, and families and school districts both have their part to play, because in the event that things spiral out of control we will have another school year in which entire classrooms temporarily empty out and even buildings are forced to close.

We agree that full-time school weeks offer the best possible outcome for learning, but in the first two weeks of the school year, some students are already missing a significant amount of time in the classroom, so school districts are going to have to redouble their efforts to make sure children who miss days or weeks of school don't fall through the cracks.

The Auburn school district reported this week that 32 students and staff have tested positive positive for the virus while others have been quarantined because of community exposure.

Attendance has historically been a great measuring stick of overall achievement in schools, so while families are being asked to do the right thing and keep children home when they appear ill, everything must also be done to keep students connected with their teachers.

Districts must also be prepared to ramp-up testing opportunities in schools and help families find access to testing in their communities, because negative tests may shorten the time a vaccinated child needs to stay out of school. Families may also check with their health care provider or local pharmacy to find out about testing options, and information on testing is also available at cayugacounty.us/health.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Michelle Bowers, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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