the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, a year and a half into the COVID pandemic many parents recognized, perhaps for the first time, that they have so many options available to them in every other area of their lives and of their parenting; yet, when it comes to educating their kids, they are left with a one-size-fits-all government school assignment. This is no longer tolerable to families who desire much more choice and customization in their children’s learning.
After a disruptive 2020/2021 academic year was, it led to many positive educational changes that will be transformative and long-lasting. Most notably, parents have been re-empowered to take back the reins of their children’s education from government bureaucrats and teachers unions. Frustrated by school closures and district “Zoom schooling,” families fled public schools in droves over the past year, and there are several signs that these families won’t be returning this fall.
Early signs indicate that many parents will again opt out of their local district school this year and pursue other educational options.
According to an analysis by Chalkbeat and the Associated Press, public school enrollment fell by an average of 2.6 percent across 41 states last fall, with states such as Michigan, Maine, Vermont, and Mississippi dropping by more than 4 percent. These enrollment declines far exceeded any anticipated demographic changes that might typically alter public school enrollment.
The jury is still out in Ridgewood but due to the massive increase in housing in the central business district .
The growth in homeschooling over the past year has been astonishing. Millions of parents have unenrolled their children from a district school for independent homeschooling. According to the US Census Bureau, the homeschooling rate doubled from 5 percent of US K-12 students, in spring 2020 to over 11 percent in fall 2020.
Leading the homeschooling surge this year were families of color. The Census reported a five-fold increase in the number of black homeschoolers this academic year, to more than 16 percent of the homeschooling population. This is an over-representation of black students in the homeschooling community compared to the 15 percent of black students enrolled in K-12 public schools.
The Ridgewood Local School District will maintain the health and safety of students and staff during the 2021-2022 school year. Ridgewood Local School District is committed to educating all students. Ridgewood Local Schools plan on returning to face to face instruction with all students on Monday, August 23, 2021. The Board of Education, administration, and staff believe the best place for students is to learn in brick and mortar of our buildings with in-person instruction.
Despite assurances hybrid homeschooling programs continue to grow, and entrepreneurs are creating new education models.
EdChoice’s Mike McShane wrote recently at Forbes. “Hundreds of thousands of families across the country will become eligible to participate in the next year or two, offering new opportunities that previously were financially out of their reach.”
As schools across the country introduce critical race theory into their curriculum, parents and educators are speaking out against what they see as divisive, race-based practices that separate students into either an “oppressor” or “oppressed” group based solely on one’s skin color. Some parents are pulling their kids out of schools that they think are indoctrinating children to view others as members of an identity group rather than as individuals.