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It's graduation season, or at least it would be if we weren't in a pandemic. Thousands of Arkansans would be gathered in gymnasiums, college campuses, and football fields to watch their children walk across a stage when their name gets called.

A high school band would play the never-ending "Pomp and Circumstance," looping the melody until its conductor finally cuts it off. Speeches, turning of cords, throwing of hats, you know how it goes . . . or would go.

Schools have had to make changes to their graduation plans, and now many students aren't getting the chance to live out the scene described above. But life will return to schools. Our state's education department has a playbook to make sure things return to normal for the next school year. Here's more from the papers:

"Arkansas Education Secretary Johnny Key on Thursday unveiled a 'Back to School Playbook' compiled by some 130 educators that identifies skills that students missed when the state's schools closed abruptly in March and lesson plans for filling in the gaps when classes resume."

Switching entirely to online learning at the drop of a hat was necessary, but didn't come without challenges in a state that has problems with rural high-speed Internet connections. Teachers have adapted on the fly to make sure the kids keep learning, but there are some skills that just can't be taught online. The fine arts and vo-tech, for example.

Fortunately, our education department is planning. As most state agencies are. Planning for good, planning for bad, planning to return everything to normal come August, assuming there's no big outbreaks or spikes before then.

The kids will be all right. And to the new grads, congratulations. You did it. Under the most extreme conditions.

Editorial on 05/19/2020

Print Headline: The kids are all right


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