Marisa Kosek’s son James has autism.
“Being around people all day in school and trying to act ‘normal’ is tiring,” said Kosek in an interview with Associated Press. She’s more hopeful now that James has been accepted to a private residential school that specializes in students with autism.
The COVID Effect
Traditional schools are still reeling from COVID-19. Over a million students left during the COVID-19 lockdowns and never returned. Davis School District projects an enrollment decline of over 700 students. That is enough students to close an elementary school.
In addition, there is a sharp rise in “chronic absenteeism,” meaning that students are missing 10 percent of the school year for any reason. It all points to the fact that students are turning away from the traditional model.
For the past two years, government and school officials have been telling children to stay home. Now they want them to return.
But children and families learned that school doesn’t have to look like the typical five-day-a-week 8 to 3 model. During COVID-19 closures and lockdowns, schools created a market demand for online and hybrid schools. Online schools boomed during the closures, but so did homeschooling and non-traditional models.
Long story short, kids and families want something different. So what should be done?
You Aren’t Stuck With Traditional Education!
Parents can and are solving this problem for themselves. They are finding or creating new hybrid models for their children. A hybrid model combines two different models (in-person and homeschool for example) together. A student may attend a school two days a week for specific classes and be homeschooled the rest of the week. Or a student may be online part of the week and be part of a group that meets once a week for service or field trips.
This is still in the early stages, and most families are still choosing public schools, but there are many options available. And it is causing a major disruption to the education industry. With the rise of microschools, homeschool co-ops, learning pods, part-week and full-week models, you don’t have to feel like your child is stuck.
So, yes kids are rejecting public schools, but that doesn’t mean they are rejecting learning. They just want to learn differently.