My nine-year-old daughter is currently in her third year of virtual school.
Her Grannie, with whom she shares a very special bond, is immunocompromised. If my daughter were to attend in-person school, she would not be able to see her beloved Grannie indoors, which is particularly difficult in the winter when outdoor visits are not easy. But my daughter is schooling virtually for her own protection as well, as we know COVID infections can have long-term health impacts on children.
To keep my family safe, I have had to drop my work hours (and income) by 25%. The reduced hours allow me to give my daughter the attention she needs before and after school, and during her recesses., and allow me to take her outside to get much-needed play time and exercise. As a sole parent, the loss of income year after year is a heavy financial burden.
We have engaged a French tutor for weekly outdoor sessions since September 2020 to supplement virtual learning with in-person instruction. This is an additional financial strain.
My daughter would very much like to return to her primary school next year. She misses her friends. But this will not be possible if schools remain unsafe.