I am a parent of two children to attend Overlook Elementary. I'm deeply disturbed by the plans to reopen schools in our district, even with the social distancing and sanitation efforts outlined by the Montco guidance document. I have a full time job that allows me to work remotely, but I feel for school staff who may not have healthcare, or may not have access to childcare for their own children. Are local school districts petitioning local, state, and/or federal governments to offer bailouts to support these workers staying home and/or working remotely? Our two children engaged in remote learning this spring, and while it was not ideal, it did offer their teachers and classmates the opportunity to learn in an environment free from the threat of potentially fatal infectious disease. With reopening, I also worry about the cognitive impact of trying to learn in an environment with plexiglass partitions, face masks, and constant reminders of the pandemic. It feels akin to trying to learn with a ticking time bomb in the room. I don't look forward to having to be with my children all day while I also try to get my own work done, but I welcome that stress over the worry of either of my children getting sick, or getting someone in our household sick. I don't feel willing to sacrifice my child for the sake of a school getting to teach in person, and I don't want any other family to have to make that decision.

Jules Purnell


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