Staff Editorial: Back To School?

Concern About Going Back To Full In Person

     High school students in the North Kansas City School District have been either virtual or hybrid since March 2020, and the transition hasn’t been easy for students or faculty. From keeping up with assignments to worrying about keeping their families safe, this past year has been difficult.

     Now, other school districts are going back to full in-person schooling, and some believe the North Kansas City School District will do the same soon. But is that really the best option? In short, no. We don’t believe it is safe quite yet.

     Covid is still spreading in Missouri, and although the number of daily cases are dropping, that doesn’t necessarily mean we should go back to the way life was before.

     According to the CDC, there are still about 90,000 cases of covid reported in the United States per day, as well as 3,000 deaths per day. And if all of the nearly 1,800 students return to school at the same time, and we are packed into classrooms with about 30 students per class, that gives very little space for social distancing. Masks can only do so much.

     The vaccine rollout has been going much slower than was expected. In Missouri, only 12.3 percent of residents have been given the vaccine. To determine who gets the vaccine, Missouri is using a tier list. Tier 1A is front-line emergency workers, 1B phase 2 is high-risk individuals. The state is currently in Phase 1B tier 2, but teachers and critical infrastructure are in the next phase.

     As of right now, it isn’t known how soon the vaccine will be administered to the general public, and with the vaccine only being available to people 16 and up, that excludes freshmen and some sophomores from getting vaccinated. So, about half of the school’s population would go unvaccinated.

     It makes more sense to wait and have as many people vaccinated as possible before the hybrid schedule is discarded and students come back to school.



     Students have had to adjust their lives so much since last year. They have adapted to learning almost all the curriculum through a computer screen and Microsoft Teams meetings. Not only that, but their schedules have changed quite a bit, whether it be work, sports or sleep — everything has shifted.

      Along with the lack of social interaction that has been happening, it would be difficult to try to throw kids into “normalcy” again. It would be just as drastic of a change that happened last year in the second half of the school year.

     Putting everyone back in actual classrooms at the end of the school year would throw off the routines that students have created this past year. Routines at home can provide stability for teenagers.

      It can be argued that students need to go back in person due to students having a hard time learning online, and while that is true, there are other outlets to get help.   

     Teachers have office hours on Microsoft Teams, so students can ask questions on the curriculum. Students could also email their teachers any questions they may have.

     Even though going back to 100 percent in person isn’t the best idea right now, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future.

     Some students are struggling with the hybrid schedule — whether it be keeping up with assignments or not being able to socialize — and would rather go back to in person. But, putting everyone back into the classroom would put people in danger, and right now, the best option is to prioritize keeping people safe.

      The best option for the district to make is to wait until next school year to make any changes to the schedule. Getting rid of the hybrid schedule at this point in time would put too many people at risk as well as disrupt students’ and faculty members’ lives.