Sumner County and Metro Nashville leaders hope to reopen schools in August. Now, it’s time to anticipate conditions parents, teachers and students will face.

Nationally, millions of children were out of school for about three months because of the COVID-19 quarantine. The summer break is well underway. In the fall, there’s the possibility of increased on-line teaching. Distant learning puts children on-line more often and probably for longer periods of time.

And now the FBI has issued a warning. More time on the Internet creates more opportunity for on-line predators to take advantage of children. The FBI recommends that parents and responsible adults closely monitor children’s Internet use, especially with on-line games.

Another thing: Do you think a 2020 high school diploma is as valuable as a 2019 diploma? Students in the class of 2020 were out of school for a long time. What about rising seniors? It’s going to be challenging to get them focused and in-tune for classes.

I’m also concerned that social promotion will be a problem. Teachers sometimes give students passing grades for arbitrary reasons. Sometimes a student is too old to repeat a grade, or the system doesn’t want them left behind.

How will teachers know what to do? Students lost three of the nine-month school year because of the quarantine. Discipline is going to be a big mess. With students out of school so long, some have forgotten how to behave.

In making preparations for the next school year, students must be tested and evaluated. How were they evaluated before they were promoted? They weren’t in school. I think it would be difficult to evaluate them from computer data.

I am concerned about children learning on computers at home, instead of in a classroom with other children and a teacher. Distant learning is not as effective because there’s no interactive communication for students with teachers. Students are more focused with teachers present. With lessons on a computer the teacher has no idea whether the student is focused. I always monitored students when I taught class.

With a doctorate in education, Dr. Jordan has taught middle and high school classes and on the college level. She was the first woman elected to Metro’s City Council. Now, she’s a political strategist living in Hendersonville which she calls God’s country.

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