This day off school is an important milestone

Calling it an “act of God” sounds about right.

There probably is no better way to describe a day off from school to allow teachers and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s a worthy repurpose of a snow day.

Parents and teachers across the Grand Traverse region have had an especially rocky road since March, as they worked to guide children in northern Michigan through a period of constant upheaval.

Thousands of students were sent home from schools with little notice as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread into Michigan. That exodus from classrooms was the end of anything that felt “normal” for children, their families and teachers.

The journey since has been along a rocky road to say the least. Teachers and school administrators scrambled to adapt and ensure students didn’t flounder through a lost year. Parents were confronted with intensive remote learning schedules to ensure their children succeed. And despite their best efforts, the fall and early winter brought a constant yo-yo from classroom to home and back as infections crept into schools.

The reactions of public health officials and administrators to cope with constant exposures and corresponding fluctuations in staffing resulted in the most disjointed school year in any of our memory.

That’s why the “act of God” day many local school administrators called for today and another a few weeks from now are a welcome.

Yes, they are two more days in a long line our children won’t spend in classrooms. But the purpose for these days is a promise of future stability.

Teachers and staff from multiple local school districts are set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine today, and will return in a few weeks for their second dose.

Those vaccinations — in some districts more than 70 percent of employees — will help ensure our children have the opportunity to attend school in-person. It is a step toward ensuring children in our region don’t slip through cracks in the system.

It is a step toward stability for our children.

A step toward normal.

— Traverse City Record-Eagle.


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