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Checking assignments

When pubic schools reopen in August, or perhaps even later this spring, a significant number of students are going to be far behind their classmates. That may prompt some teachers to wonder if there is some way they can hand out a few F grades — to parents.

Public schools in Ohio have been closed for about a month. Suspending classes was the right thing to do. No one wanted children coming down with COVID-19 and/or taking the virus home to mom and dad.

In our area, every teacher and every school system has contingency plans for a few days of closures due to bad winter weather. The ongoing suspension is much more challenging. To meet it, educators are employing multiple strategies. Some students can work remotely from home, via the internet. Others can benefit from assignments on paper, often handed out with school meals that — bless them — educators continue trying to provide to help local families.

When school-at-home arrangements simply do not work out, perhaps because a family lacks a computer or access to the internet, it is unavoidable that some children will not learn as much as many of their peers. Educators will make allowances for that.

But what of families where homework is available and can be completed — but is not being tackled by students?

The enforcement mechanisms educators use to encourage children to keep up with their work often are not available in this situation, in which many teachers have not seen their students’ faces for several weeks. That leaves it up to parents and guardians, perhaps even grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members, to crack the whip.

What is going on now is not an extended spring break, people. If you are a mom or dad who has not checked your child’s school work lately, we urge you to do so. Help them keep up. That will pay off when schools reopen — as they will at some point.

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