What do you do when the leadership is done online?

Last night, my wife and I sat down to watch the streamed online virtual meeting for the Halton Catholic School Board. Why? Are we boring individuals who watch too much YouTube? Probably yes, but that wasn’t the case last night. The board decided to debate a policy resolution to allow masks to be optional in elementary schools from the JK to Grade 3 levels.

As parents of a grade 3 student, yes we were concerned. For the record we are both adamantly pro mask. Thankfully, the motion was defeated 5 to 4. Hopefully this debate is over with and we can get on with something more productive with our time.

What struck me though as hypocritical was the fact that it was done virtually. Still. I want that point to sink in. The School Board was conducting it’s monthly board meeting online due to safety issues relating to COVID-19. Now, I later learned that some board members were at the office in person. However not all.

Regardless of what board your child is in, if you’re a parent then you’ll agree with me when I say that this month has been the most nerve racking of your life. The decision to send your child back to class or into the virtual setting, has not be a clear one. Too many variables and questions being unanswered are the norm these days I find. However, we were not presented with an option c. Parents were presented with a Sophie’s Choice in going back to school this year.

Which brings me to last night’s meeting. There appears to be a real divide between leadership and what is happening on the ground. Our schools are not being made the safest they possibly can. Desks are not being set up to socially distanced standards. Classes are being collapsed and numbers are not at ideal capacity for COVID-19. And yet, parents, teachers and students are being told that is perfectly safe for our children to attend.

If that is truly the case, then leadership should lead by example. Adjust your procedures to facilitate in person meetings. They already have set up standards to return to work for schools. I would suggest they use the same. If they are unable to do so then, perhaps thats a sign of a flaw in the return to school plan. Essentially if the return to work plans they enacted for our schools, are not sufficient for them to return to board meetings once a month, how are we as parents to have confidence in this years return to school plan?

You can only lead from the front. Not from a zoom call.

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