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Valentine's Day: Should schools allow Valentine exchanges this year?

My vote is yes but let me explain why. As many know or may have read, we moved to California in the summer of 2019. The pandemic hit mid-way in the school year so my children not only haven't had the chance to attend the physical school out here any more than approx 6 months AND have not had the chance to make friendships with the students there. Unfortunately we are still "locked down" and continue to do virtual learning, which has been quite the adjustment for any kid.

In thinking about Valentine's Day, which is about 2.5 weeks away, I thought about planning ahead. I was quite excited about my great deals that I found last year in having the kids pick out their Valentine's that were on clearance and putting them up for this year. They were like 40 cents a pack! #Winning. But as I was pulling them out from storage, I wondered, "is the school allowing Valentine exchanges this year?" Every two weeks, the kids' school has what's called "Homework Exchange day" where, every other Friday, there are the teacher's tables outside with crates or containers that allow the parents to drop off the folder containing the completed work from the last 2 weeks and pickup a new folder containing worksheets for the next two weeks. With this in mind, I came up with an idea. How about the kids turn in their Valentine's in a Ziplock bag along with their homework folder on Friday, January 29th so that the teachers or volunteer asst could later prepare a paper bag of Valentine's for each child to pickup with their folder at the next exchange on Friday, February 12th. The benefits of this would be (1) the Valentine's would have close to 2 weeks to "air out" if that's a concern & (2) the students could at least have some sort of normalcy and have fun seeing the different characters that their fellow peers like as well as feel connected to them.

With this idea in mind, I reached out to the teachers at the school just to confirm what the plans were and if it would be permitted. The school administration decided "NO! They would not be permitting the exchange of Valentine's this year with the risk of sharing items between households". OK, I most definitely agree with and abide by no in-person gatherings or sharing of food items, but a piece of paper? How is this different than going to pick up the mail? Or picking up the folders on Fridays that lots of hands could be touching as they sift through to find their student's folder. Also, if teachers are preparing goody bags for the students, are they exempt from "the risk of spreading"? Sigh. I definitely can understand the liability risk that they would be concerned with and desire to take precautions. Maybe I'm just overthinking, missing the smiles of joy on the kids' faces as they get excited about themed days like Valentine's day/Halloween, or just ready to break out of this pandemic bubble of restrictions. I just wanted to share an alternate view and hear others' thoughts as well as what alternative ways your children or students are celebrating Valentine's Day this year.

The school did mention that they are looking into alternate ways that the kids could still connect such as sending digital Valentine's to their classmates, and putting together a day of fun activities like puzzles and games virtually! This helps to restore my hope & excitement for them.

Stay tuned! I will be sharing some cool ideas on how to add some fun to your home for Valentine's day.


Yo! Mama

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