I appreciate The Observer’s thorough article about what it will take to get schools open and our children back into classrooms. If there is any issue that should get a community to come together to achieve a goal, getting our kids back into school ought to be that goal.

I applaud administrators and teachers for the valiant work they are doing to try to provide an education through virtual learning. By any assessment, it is not working very well in terms of student engagement or achievement, even for kids in supportive families with good internet access. I’m not suggesting we give that up if it is all we have. But I am pessimistic about throwing more effort at trying to make virtual learning effective, especially for our youngest students.

Our effort as a community needs to be in doing whatever it takes to keep our COVID-19 rates low enough that schools can open their doors. Members of this community: It is up to you. Wear masks, keep your distance from others, wash your hands! Our kids need to be in school, and it is up to us to make it possible.

Carol Lauritzen

La Grande

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