Letter: Digital learning protects students

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 5, 2020

Wednesday came and went without the long-awaited announcement from Gov. Roy Cooper regarding opening schools next month. Clearly, ours as well as the systems from the 100 plus counties/cities across the state are waiting with baited breath as to how and when reopening will proceed.

Fortunately, Rowan-Salisbury Schools finds itself in the enviable position of having options other systems do not. As a result of courageous, and at the time, questionable, expenditure decisions by prior boards of education and county commissioners, our students had and have the luxury of “not missing a beat” of their education because it is being delivered via electronic devices. Our students had been using electronic devices for several years, allowing both them and educators time to adjust to new methods of learning. Granted, no one could have predicted just how fortuitous that decision would be given our present circumstances. 

As the governor’s decision looms, RSS once again finds itself in a unique position. Under renewal status, the board of education can, and should, choose to continue elearning over the fall semester, even if other schools across the state return to classroom learning. 

Yes, elearning does inconvenience parents in several ways. And it certainly doesn’t make our educators’ jobs easier, when in fact more is expected from them such as additional electronic career development classes, meetings, etc. There are negatives for our students as well, given that these are some of the most formative years of a child’s life. However these same negatives were considered back when our leaders were considering adopting elearning, and they chose to proceed. 

It’s now time for the current Administration and Board of Education to make the courageous decision for today. Let’s take a stand to protect the health of our students, their parents, grandparents and extended family members. Let’s take a stand to protect the health of our educators and the families they return home to each day. If we do not continue utilizing elearning now, when facts clearly justify doing so, when on earth would we ever do so again? 

— B.D. Robinson