Some parents may be waffling on what to do when schools reopen in August. A good number of moms and dads are torn, and with just cause. COVID-19 is nothing to mess around with. It’s that contagious and that dangerous.

A certain percentage of parents, frightened by the recent elevation in the number of cases of hospitalized coronavirus sufferers, will opt to either home-school sons and daughters or plug into virtual school offerings by local systems. They want to be able to control their child’s environment for as long as they can. Perfectly understandable.

Others will elect to send their children to school, and for any number of reasons. They trust the school system or private school their child will be attending. They have faith the schools will do everything within their realm of knowledge and power to sustain safe learning environments.

We have every reason to believe they will. Schools — their administrators, teachers and other staff — will be responsible for the health of the most precious additions to our lives: our children. Trust they will bend over backwards and do somersaults, if that is what it takes, to ensure each child’s safety.

But they will need the help of every mom and dad to pull it off. In a pandemic, everyone has a role. Everyone must do his or her part.

Remind your children to obey the rules and to follow instructions carefully and to the letter. If they’re unsure of something, tell them to ask the teacher. A classmate, especially in the lower grades, might have misheard the directions too.

Go over with each child whatever written instructions the school system provides. Those who receive guidelines well in advance of the reopening of school might consider drilling each child on directions deemed most important. Memory can be a great ally in times like these.

Resist any inclination to put the safety of your child or children completely in the hands of the school system. They will do their best, but as most have come to realize over the years, that is not always enough despite best intentions.

Do your part. Prepare your children for school. Don’t scare them to death. Just remind them to be safe and tell them how to do it.

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