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DR. BOBBY LOPEZ — Parents’ help with remote learners crucial for future opportunities, success

The COVID-19 virus seems to have such a grasp on all of us nine months after we first sent all employees and students home from our schools.

As I reflect back to March 2020, I remember thinking that by September 2020, we should all be back to normal. We are not!

So, how can we continue educating students while at the same time protecting our students, parents and staff from the COVID-19 virus?

How can we modify our educational model to achieve the optimal balance between educational needs and safety concerns?

At Bob Hope School we offer our parents two choices for their children’s education that reflect the dichotomy between maximum educational benefit and maximum safety during a pandemic.

Parents may choose to have their child learn remotely from home, or face-to-face with teachers in the classroom. Currently, about 60 percent of our middle and high school student population have chosen remote learning while 40 percent learn via face-to-face instruction.

Our parents who chose face-to-face instruction on campus rely on us, even more than they normally do, to provide for their child’s safety.

At all of our schools, students undergo a temperature screening upon arrival at school. We have all students and staff wearing a mask, we provide desk shields for students’ and teachers’ desks, plus ensure that the teacher is social distancing from the students.

We have the teachers rotate instead of having the students moving from class to class. As always, our on-campus students learn from teachers who spend long hours preparing lessons.

On the other hand, students who work remotely and are never physically in the classroom are still expected to fulfill the same instructional requirement as face-to-face students.

In this case, we rely on parents, even more than we normally do, to be active participants in their child’s education. We know that education occupies a high place on nearly all parents’ priority list.

We know that this is the reason many of you chose to place your children in Bob Hope Schools. However, many of you may not know how you can help.

Learning from home is difficult. Our teachers spend a great deal of time planning for the instruction of your children, and we expect students to complete the required instructional assignments.

But, unless they are closely monitored, it is often difficult for students learning from home to treat home as if it were school. What we have experienced is that many students are not completing the assignments and getting low grades. Worse, they are failing to build the educational foundation they need to progress to the next grade.

We need your commitment as parents to assist us. Please assure that your child has a place to be able to work at home that is free from distractions.

Be sure to inquire daily if he/she needs any assistance with their work. Communicate with your child’s teacher about any missed or unfinished work.

Let me say that we, the staff at the schools, never stopped working from the moment we first knew that we were going to work from home and be remote back in March.

It has been a strong struggle as we have all worked hard to guarantee that we had the best educational plan going forward. We provided all students in grades two through twelve with a chromebook and a hot spot.

We modified our plans for instruction over and over as conditions changed. Our students are the most important thing we have going for all of us. Their future is our future.

In the end, your child will have to be competitive with students throughout our country when applying for college or universities. He/she will be judged on his/her grade point average, SAT score, a written essay and reading ability.

Please make sure that you, as a parent, are doing all you can do to not lower the standard and continue requiring the best out of your child’s education. Therefore, do not stop educating your child and placing your child at the highest level possible.

Without your child, our future will not be anywhere as bright as it will be with your child leading it.

Dr. Bobby Lopez, CEO, has served as superintendent of the Bob Hope School since 2010. Contact him at bobby.lopez@bobhopeschool.org or 409-983-3244.