Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a regular school year just wasn't going to happen. Spring break will mark a year since El Paso area school children had any sense of normalcy in their school experience, and a year later, area school districts are still struggling with how they are going to deal with the pandemic. Will there be in-classroom, face-to-face learning? Will kids stay online and learn virtually through their school laptops? Is a hybrid the way to go, and how do districts decide which kids to allow back into the classroom? What about the lost tax money coming from the State of Texas because of the loss of enrollment, and grades - what about the destruction of grades and the difficulty that so many students are having with virtual learning?

The El Paso Independent School District says that they will be meeting Monday to determine if now is the time to allow staff and students back in the classroom. Granted, the numbers post-Thanksgiving didn't have the spike we were all anticipating, thank God. We don't know if the two week Christmas holidays are going to bring higher numbers, so if EPISD decides to let staff and students on campus in the next couple of weeks, which would be about two weeks after the end of the holidays, and the numbers go up, what then? You'll have parents scrambling again to figure out child care options if they let them go because school is back in session. Teachers will have to transition back into their homes from their classrooms. Employers of parents will have to be patient as things once again get shaken up.

There really is no good way to finish out this school year. If you don't open schools back up, you might lose even more students to home schooling and that leads to a loss of tax money coming from the state to local school districts. Students who have been struggling aren't going to magically make up for lost time because they're back in class because their class time is not going to be anything like it was in 2019. And the district is going to have to deal with more angry parents who once again have to scramble to either get their kids to class or keep them home.

We'll see what the decision is from EPISD, and as we always say, we report, you decide.

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