Why elementary students need to go back to school first


Jasmine Andrea, Junior Editor

Ever since the pandemic began, school boards and counties across the country have been figuring out how to bring students back to in-person learning. A decision that has been unanimous is to bring back elementary students first, but why?

The beginning years of one’s long school career are arguably the most important because they set the foundation for education through high school and beyond. Children learn to read, write, and so much more with daily guidance from their teachers. But doing that through a screen is much more difficult.

 “If you could imagine trying to get four and five-year-olds to learn through something like this it’s hard because they don’t even know what it looks like to be a student,” said Alisal Principal, Karen Johnson.

Not only the fact that the youngest students haven’t yet learned how to be a student and how to learn effectively, but they lose the social exposure necessary at a young age. 

by Jasmine Andrea

“There may be actual harm done to the littlest kids because of the lack of the social piece that we can’t provide for them. I don’t think it’s good for anybody, but I think children at older ages are better able to manage it,” continues Johnson.

The experience that older students have makes them better prepared for online learning and being more independent. Although middle and high schoolers are more likely to suffer from mental and emotional health issues due to this new system of schooling, they also have more and better ways to cope than young children.

Not only should younger students go back to school from a learning aspect, but even from a transmission standpoint.

“In epidemiological studies globally and nationally, the evidence suggests that children seem to get COVID-19 less frequently than adults,” stated in an article by the California Department of Public Health.

This discovery was very important in the decision to bring young children back at a quicker pace because of the lowered probability of having to shut down due to a coronavirus case by a student.

Although it is important to get all students back into school as quickly as possible, the youngest children, as well as their parents, have it the hardest, and the number of solutions outweighs the number of risks.