California parents struggle as Covid and fires collide

With much of northern California still under lockdown and wildfires raging across the state, Corinne Perham’s nine-year-old daughter recently asked: can coronavirus and fire make people extinct?

Covid-19 changed the lives of Perham’s family in ways large and small – her husband, an emergency room doctor, started showering before he came home from work, and her nine- and 10-year-old daughters were distance learning at their Chico home. Then a deadly wildfire burning nearby rained ash on the region and created hazardous air that meant no one could go outside for days. Perham’s kids started asking “when will the fires be over?” along with “when will corona be over?”

Related: ‘We need to show children we can survive’: how to parent through a pandemic

“The children of Chico are so resilient,” Perham, 44, told the Guardian told this week, adding that her daughters were familiar with the sight of smoke because

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Hazardous air quality worries West Coast parents

Clarissa Carson cradled her baby girl in her arms and felt her heart drop. The ICU nurse looked out her front window, barely making out trees across the street. Dense, choking smoke — the result of nearby wildfires — had settled in her hometown of Medford, Oregon, a city of 82,000 located 27 miles north of the California border. 

It was 2017, and Carson badly wanted to take her daughter, who had just started crawling, outside to their yard, to let her feel a ray of sunshine on her face, let the grass tickle her knees. She knew sensory input was critical to her development. This was the summer Carson’s blue-eyed baby girl started balling up her fists and shaking her hands when she got excited, drool spilling onto her chubby cheeks.

Carson knew if they went outside, she’d get that reaction. But she also knew that with the hazardous

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Two weeks in, Detroit parents question tough choices about school

DETROIT — A few days before the start of the eighth grade, Jonah Beasley considered the risks he’d face when he walked back into the classroom and summed them up in stark terms.

He could get Covid-19 from a classmate or a teacher, he said, and “if I get it, I’ll probably die.”

A veteran of two heart transplants, Jonah, a soft-spoken teen who loves football and basketball, takes medicine that suppresses his immune system. He has a long list of health issues that his parents initially thought would force them to choose virtual instruction this year.

But Jonah’s lengthy hospital stays have already put him behind his peers academically and socially, said his mother, Peggy Carr-McMichael. He’s 15, two years older than most of his classmates. And Carr-McMichael saw how difficult it was for him to focus on his schoolwork and speak up during video classes last spring after

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This week, parents sue schools over mask mandates and a college president dies of COVID-19

The University of Arizona ordered its students to shelter in place in an effort to control COVID-19 infections. (Getty Images)
The University of Arizona ordered its students to shelter in place in an effort to control COVID-19 infections. (Getty Images)

Students are headed back to class amid the coronavirus pandemic, and to keep you posted on what’s unfolding throughout U.S. schools — K-12 as well as colleges — Yahoo Life is running a weekly wrap-up featuring news bites, interviews and updates on the ever-unfolding situation.

Ohio passes bill to protect schools from COVID-19 lawsuits as parents sue the state over mask mandates

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill into law that temporarily gives schools (and health care workers) immunity against lawsuits “arising from exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, or any mutation of the virus, as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.”

The bill passed on the heels of a Sept. 10 lawsuit filed by Ohio families claiming that mask mandates violate

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Trump, DeVos raise school choice in appeal to vexed parents

As millions of American children start the school year online, the Trump administration is hoping to convert their parents’ frustration and anger into newfound support for school choice policies that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has long championed but struggled to advance nationally.

DeVos and President Donald Trump have repeatedly invoked school choice as the solution to parents’ woes. If public schools fail to open, they say, parents should get a cut of the district’s federal funding to send their children to private schools or for home schooling, learning pods or other options that have arisen during the coronavirus pandemic.

For Trump, it’s seen as a potential lifeline to Black and Hispanic voters, who are more likely to support vouchers and other school choice options, polls have found. Speaking at the White House in July, Trump declared that “there is nothing that the African American community wants more than school choice.”

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Halloween Canceled? Businesses, Parents, Kids Say ‘No Way!’

ACROSS FLORIDA — Halloween may look and feel a bit different this year due to coronavirus safety protocols but a majority of parents polled say they feel it’s important for kids to celebrate the holiday and plan to take their children trick-or-treating this year.

A poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the National Confectioners Association found that 63 percent of adults believe that people will find creative, fun and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year.

Americans are looking forward to Halloween to add some normalcy and fun to what has been a serious and uncertain time. In a poll conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the NCA, 74 percent of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween is more important than ever this year.

“Consumers report that they will be getting creative throughout the month of October to make sure that they

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Millburn/Short Hills Parents Petition Against Online Reopening

MILLBURN, NJ — The Millburn schools are considered among the most competitive in New Jersey, consistently ranking in the top 10 for standardized test scores. But that doesn’t mean all of the parents are pleased — especially since the district announced two weeks ago that students will only be able to learn remotely until Nov. 9 at the earliest.

“Our family and some others relocated to the district specifically because of the reputation regarding its high-quality public schools,” wrote a parent in a petition posted on-line this week, signed by more than 300 parents as of Thursday morning. “However, based on last year’s experience and the poor quality of instruction due to remote learning and teachers inept in the online learning environment (Google Classroom), many are considering moving away.”

Like several nearby districts, the Millburn schools open Tuesday. And like at least 242 districts in New Jersey — more than

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I’m a Pediatric Psychologist and Parent Coach, and These Are the Top Concerns Parents Bring Up to Me

Image credit: NoSystem Images/Getty Images

I speak to parents from all corners of the globe, and though everybody’s situation is different, there are certain issues that emerge again and again—particularly in our new Pandemic world. From sibling fights to bedtime squabbles, these are the most common concerns parents bring up…and how to address them.

1. I feel so overwhelmed and stressed

Whether you are a parent who stays at home, works from home or works outside the home, you are probably feeling stressed the heck out right now. This stress is often referred to as the mental load, which accounts for all the lists, tasks and responsibilities parents (mostly mothers) manage on a daily basis. It sounds and looks like this: A mom of three wraps up her evening by making a list of what needs to be done the next day, all while trying to fold the laundry

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How parents can add purpose and structure to their kids’ online learning

It’s been more than 20 weeks since our schools here in the Bay Area went online, and this summer I added one more noun to my list of roles: CEO, mom, wife, and now, full-time educator. These past few months have taught me a lot about myself, my daughters, my bond with them, and the value of social structures that I took for granted. American society has a pact with working parents: The machinery of school and after-school programs keeps our kids occupied and learning. Our job as parents is to take care of their health, spiritual and moral upbringing. Together, we make it run.

This summer, parents had to take on the role of managing their kids’ learning in addition to everything else, all in the midst of a pandemic. This is causing considerable stress and turmoil, and is complicated by the inequities in our society, which are painfully

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‘We have had parents crying for us to open’

Children’s summer camp provider Richard Bernstein says he has had mums and dads sobbing down the line to him.

“We had parents on the phone, literally crying, asking us to open this year,” says Mr Bernstein, director of UK company XUK Camps.

“They said they needed to take their child somewhere so they could work, and if they couldn’t they would effectively lose their jobs.”

Like children’s activities and entertainment businesses around the world, XUK hasn’t been able to open this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve lost 95% of our income, and we’ll make a six figure loss [this year],” says Mr Bernstein. “We’re in a position that we’re able to ride this year out, but there will be a lot of organisations in the sector that will not be able to cope with what has happened in 2020.”

Pre-school activity classes can be a vital way for

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