Help phrasing an email to my son's teachers
October 9, 2020 9:02 AM   Subscribe

My son's teachers sent home some photos of his class and it appeared that several students weren't wearing masks and weren't socially distanced. I'd like to bring this up in an email to the teachers, but I'm struggling how to phrase it.

My son is 3 and this is his first year in JK. His classroom sends home photos every day through Google Classroom. Yesterday we received an email that there was a case of coronavirus at his school. My son was identified as being low-risk, but for a little while it was scary. We were looking at the photos that were sent home and noticed that in yesterday's photo, my son and others in his class aren't wearing masks and aren't socially distanced. At my son's school, masks are mandatory for students in JK through grade 3 although teachers aren't required to enforce that. So, I accept that some students won't have masks. However, I generally think that having students without masks while also not having those students socially distanced is a problem. Teachers are supposed to be making sure that students are socially distanced whenever possible. My wife works as a school librarian and at her school, socially distancing is enforced more strongly when students aren't wearing masks.

I'd like to contact my son's teachers and bring this up as something that seemed kind of alarming. But, I'm struggling with finding a way to phrase this in a non-confrontational way. I get that JK's are difficult to social distance and it's probably also hard keeping them wear their masks. And I get that I might not be seeing the whole picture from a single image. But, I still think it's worth bringing up my concerns. I'm just running into a wall when I try to phrase it. Can anyone help?

We're in Ontario, Canada in case it matters.
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Human Relations (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"hey i'm concerned that my son wasn't wearing a mask, nor were his peers, in the picture you sent yesterday. could you clarify your policy on this? I get that JK's are difficult to social distance and it's probably also hard keeping them wear their masks. however, with the recent report of covid in the school, i'd like to ask that my kid....."
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:08 AM on October 9 [7 favorites]

Could you have your kid practice masking and social distancing at home, maybe like a game, and talk to other kids' parents to see if they would do that to?

"Hi teacher, me and the other parents are working with our kids to get comfortable with masking and social distancing. These are the reminders we use. Please feel free to use the same phrasing at school to reinforce their learning."
posted by dum spiro spero at 10:12 AM on October 9

Is there a stated mask/social distancing policy at this school? I'd start there.
posted by citygirl at 11:38 AM on October 9

Maybe just focus on your own child and ask the teacher to enforce the mask rule against him. That way it'll serve as a reminder to the other children and if for example the teacher makes him distance from others then they have now distanced from him as well. Something like "hello teacher, I noticed that in some of the photos CHILD wasn't wearing a mask and was standing too close to other children not wearing masks. I have spoken with him at home about the importance of wearing his mask and maintaining social distancing but please remind him if he doesn't do so. I will speak to him again about this tonight as well. Thank you."
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:48 AM on October 9 [8 favorites]

This may not be helpful, and I'm not judging you, but if there was a case of coronavirus and they weren't masking him, the email I'd be writing would include the phrase "we'd like to take a leave of absence."
posted by slidell at 8:48 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]

Was the student who tested positive in your son’s class? If so, I’d keep him home for the two week quarantine period because even if your son’s exposure was low-risk, others in the class might get sick.

If it was a different class, the suggestions above for talking to the teacher are good but I’d even be a bit more direct. Say that you want your son to be wearing his mask at all times and socially distanced as much as possible, and ask if the teacher is comfortable enforcing that for him. The teacher may be more comfortable being consistent if they know they have your support. And practice with him a lot at home.
posted by mai at 1:46 PM on October 10

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