As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread around the United States, schools are taking action to combat the pandemic. According to the Star Tribune, there have been 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, including one confirmed in St. Louis Park.
Students and staff alike have been anxious to hear Park’s plan regarding COVID-19 as the virus continues to spread, potentially to our school.
Superintendent Astein Osei sent out an email March 12 regarding the districts plan concerning COVID-19. The subject line of the mass email was “3-12-2020 Parent-Guardian-Staff Coronavirus Update” and was not sent to any of the students directly.
The Echo Editorial Board believes this lack of communication with students is an issue. The student body is mature enough to be part of the preparations for COVID-19.
However, the Board understands it is reasonable that district administrators have not yet come to a decision on the suspension of classes, as there are some students who rely on school for their food and would need to find another source while school is closed. Not only that, but for the other schools within the district, students’ parents would have to find other forms of childcare and may be forced to take unpaid leave from work to take care of their children. Some students also may not have internet at home, and that would also be an issue the school would need to address if it shuts down.
We advise that the administration should start planning online options for classes and making hard copies of materials for students as well. We urge the school to begin having clear, constant communication with the students. More preventative measures should be taken and the school should be fully prepared for potential obstacles that come along with shutting down the school, even before these situations arise.