We are currently receiving calls from parents who are receiving emails about the upcoming school agenda from their local school districts. The shift to online instruction is a predicament for many schools. Some school districts are still figuring out whether to reopen, how they should reopen and if they should reopen. Some school districts are still in the midst of the planning stages of best practices for each grade level of education, including distance learning and online instruction. This uncertainty has beset the over 13,000 school districts nationwide, with many pushing back start dates, planning hybrid models or deciding to go entirely online.
A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that school closures this past spring may have prevented 1.37 million cases of COVID-19 in the country between day 17 and day 42 of schools’ closure periods. The researchers estimated that 40,600 fewer Americans died overall during that period because schools shuttered.
Even with the possibility of some schools reopening (which, based on the current progression of COVID-19, is a low probability), many parents in our “Dr. Lowe’s Admissions Strategies” discussion groups were reluctant to have their children return to school, not only for the safety of their children, but also because of the risks of dissemination to other demographic groups. Their concern is based on the fact that there have been reports of parents sending their children to summer camps and within weeks of attending (even with social distancing policies and strict safety and hygienic measures) there have been COVID-positive tests among attendees. The worry is that the school environment will be an even more challenging venue to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
Parents are understandably concerned about the safety of their children at school amid the complexities and unknowns of COVID-19. Several parents from different areas in the U.S. have told us that they are pooling resources for their children’s education. They are gathering small groups of children to learn at home this fall called pandemic pods, home-school pods or learning pods in which groups of three to 10 students learn together in homes under the tutelage of the children’s parents or a hired teacher. Other parents have formed parent pods with the intention of not sending their children to schools and conducting their own home school networks.
In terms of college counseling, parents have expressed concerns because of the shift to online education and the reduced in-person contact with high school counselors. With college admissions dynamically changing and the effect of COVID-19 on college admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges and universities and BS/MD programs, our goal is to ensure students successfully navigate the college admissions process. This can be especially more challenging for current rising juniors and seniors. Admissions requirements have changed and many students will need more comprehensive, individualized guidance. The new milieu created by COVID-19 will require innovative approaches to successfully navigate the new college admissions environment.
“Admissions is a competitive sport! Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe
“Parents hire us because they chose to pay an admissions expert who will help them avoid making mistakes.” – Dr. Paul Lowe
Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs. The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges, Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college: College Transfer Admissions Advisors.