To School or Not to School, That is the Question

school desk with face mask and school supplies
Photo credit: Sunshine Smiles Photography

On March 13th, children of Hillsborough County left schools for what would be the last time. They filed out of the doors preparing for spring break and then the world stopped. No more field trips, no more seeing friends daily, and no more graduations. Instead, education, friends, and graduations were replaced with zoom conference calls, technology frustrations, and general disdain. And, now we have one month to figure out what to do for the next school year while cases of COVID-19 are rising. So the ultimate question is to school or not to school?

On July 1st, Hillsborough county parents received a letter of intent for our plans for next year. I gladly and happily checked that I was sending all three of mine back. (As I type this I have one kid sitting ON me with his tablet blaring in my ear and another sitting this close to me talking to his tablet that is also way too loud) So yeah, I was sending them back and would be first in line come August 10th. Heck, I’ll camp out the night before school starts. Take back these kids!

Letter of Intent?

Then the mask mandate came out. AFTER I filled out that letter of intent. I know masks are safe and can be worn for long periods of time. But, I also know that two of my three children will struggle immensely. I mean, they don’t wear pants due to sensory issues so how in the everloving hell am I (or their teachers) supposed to get them to wear a mask? Tiny Tot takes mine off of me because it bothers him so much. I can see Middle Skittle using it as a slingshot, or snapping someones, or trading his.

Photos credit: Sunshine Smiles Photography

Which Option?

I am so torn on what to do. E-learning was a disaster for my house. One kid did the work and two cried and one got violent. I know the set up is supposed to be different than in the Spring. And, kudos for getting anything put together so quickly teachers and admins! So, if you don’t know what way to go-I’m not much help because I don’t either. But, here is some info that may help you pick between all the less than stellar choices. However, you can get full information on the options from the Hillsborough County School website

Option A

Traditional in-person school. Which now means also sending the kids to school with a mask. There are many questions parents have with this choice that is left unanswered as of now. I have those same questions and no more answers than anyone else.

Option B

Keeps the money at your assigned school and keeps teachers’ jobs. The taxes you pay will stay at your school. You’ll be doing e-learning following the normal bell class schedule and a teacher will be teaching live during that time. 

Option C

FLVS/homeschool: the money does not stay at your school and teachers’ jobs at your current assigned school could be cut. This option allows for a flexible schedule completing the work when your schedule allows and doesn’t follow your school’s bell schedule. 

Many of us are at a loss for which way to go. I am including myself in that group. I was so set on returning them to school and now that it’s possibly a month away I am second-guessing that choice. Many seats will remain empty across Hillsborough County as school resumes and I’m still not sure if my children’s seats will be empty or not. 

Have you decided?

Brandi Eatman was raised in Ohio before moving to Florida in 1999. She has been married for ten years and has three children. On the weekends, Brandi and her family enjoy being outside and going to all the area beaches, and they are avid college football fans. Brandi is a photographer who loves to read and spend time with friends and family and enjoys her almost daily boot camps. Her guilty pleasures are crime tv shows, tacos, too much cream and sugar in her coffee, and Ohio State football.


  1. What a crazy mess! A true test of our patience! I have one starting high school next month. There are no easy answers. I’m available to help with school or babysitting if you need it.

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