First thing this morning we headed over to the High School for Picture Day. Once we rode our bikes up to the school grounds, Noé was ecstatic. Everyone at Grant HS knows Noé. His autism quirks don’t camouflage well in a high school environment. And he is accepted and affirmed every day in his school community.
Noé understands routine. He knows once it is Picture Day, the First Day of School is not far behind. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to communicate to him that he won’t be attending school this fall (and let’s be honest, school will likely be online most all of this school year). Distance learning just doesn’t work for kids like Noé. He will lose an entire academic year. And high school is this kid’s last chance to be a part of a large, inclusive community.
All of our kids are losing out in all kinds of ways. And, this morning, I’m angry crying because it absolutely didn’t need to be this way. With the science and information we now have, the COVID levels that keep school unsafe are absolutely a choice our society has made out of willful ignorance and utter disregard for others.
Today, I’m mourning. And tomorrow - I’ll get to work trying to figure out how to make this school year work for both of my kids - and as many other kids as I can help as well.