Question: For the sake of transparency, should Caldwell County Schools follow other counties’ lead and post the positive numbers of COVID cases in the school system regularly so that parents/guardians can make more informed decisions to keep their families and community as safe as possible?
Answer: Mr. and Mrs. Longano,
First, thank you for reaching out and asking me this question. It’s one question that I feel is of great importance and needed to be asked!
I want to start off by saying that the decision revolving around allowing children to attend in person or to keep their children at home is 100% a Personal Decision for each household to make. There is no right or all wrong decision. For Full Transparency, I will tell you that both of my children are enrolled in Caldwell Connect due to the fact that I have a compromised immune system, as the result of a serious illness five years ago, I no longer have a spleen and only have one kidney. I am also the primary caregiver for my 82-year-old mother. Of course, not every household is like mine or even has the ability or the luxury of being able to choose between the available schooling options. Educators and staff have even more difficult options.
If the schools are not being transparent with the numbers, the rumors and gossip tend to run wild. With social media, fear often prevails over fact, and releasing the numbers will allow parents, teachers, students, and staff the peace of mind needed to enter the schools on any given day.
Personally, I have friends who both substitute and teach full-time, and when they hear about positive cases it makes them think twice about accepting sub assignments and teaching in-person. If they have not been notified if they are stepping into a classroom that has had positive cases, they (and myself as a parent) have to wonder what additional steps have been taken to more thoroughly disinfect and insure the safety of all in the classroom.
There are educators, staff, and students with family members who are immunosuppressed/high risk or are themselves in one of those categories. Caregivers and educators are having to weigh the risk daily, debating the potential of possibly introducing this virus into their homes, which could be deadly, versus making money and supporting their families.
Ultimately, I firmly believe that everyone should have the knowledge required to accurately assess that risk involved, and whether or not they’re willing to take it.