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Kids learning in school or online?

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Our small town of 8,000 in Connecticut has opened schools this fall according to what is called a hybrid model. Students spend 2-3 days in school attending classes, and on the other days, they are receiving instruction online.

There has been a lot of discussion - and disagreement about this method.

Some parents have circulated a petition to have students return to school full time with five days of in-school instruction.

Some of the parents need to have their kids in school all day so that they - the parents - can work during the day.
This is especially true for those parents who both must be working to support the family.
Also, some parents feel that their kids are missing the necessary interactions with peers for their social-emotional development.

They also believe that only a portion of the curriculum is provided with a hybrid model. Their kids stand to fall behind their contemporaries in other school systems that are open five days a week. And there are surrounding communities that are open full time.

Other parents in our town have circulated a petition to provide full-time online education for those kids whose parents who do not want them in school at all.
Some parents do not feel it is safe to have their children in school. Some children may have compromised immune systems.

Full time or part time online education of course requires that a capable adult is available for students who require help with the assignments, or with the technology. At risk students are put even more at risk.
Students who do not have that help at home can just opt out altogether from participating in an online program. And unfortunately, many of those students may never recover from the loss.

So in our town, there is a real disagreement about how to proceed with the education of our students for this year. There will be a board of education (Zoom) meeting later this week that I would like to attend. I want to hear both sides of the issue being presented.

I am glad that I do not have to face this issue as a parent. My sons are dealing with it for their kids. My son who is the high school teacher dislikes teaching online because he cannot interact as personally with the students as he can when they are sitting in the classroom with him. Both sons feel their kids are missing out on important social interactions both in and out of the classroom. They both have made arrangements for their kids to socialize with friends after school hours - safely, of course.

This is just one facet of life brought about by Covid.
And this can have far reaching effects for a whole generation of children in our country.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wanted to say I really appreciate your blog, and the comments of your spark friends. Lunch break over, we'll try to read the rest of the comments later. It really is a concern. And like one said no one answer is perfect.
    101 days ago
    My oldest grandchild is in Jr. Kindergarten. The school is in a small rural community. The town is less than a thousand. DIL teaches 4th grade in city. Her demographic of kids really need IN school. Keeping masks on, distancing not 100%.
    101 days ago
    Our grandkids are going into the "hybrid: model of 2 days a week in school and 2 days out. The day is shortened so they will eat lunch at eating in school. The kids will go out for a "mask break" during the day, too. The virtual classes have become rather well structured and both boys are doing well. The younger one needs some special help so going into school may be better for him.

    Wait and see.... I told my daughter we will cut back our visits once the kids start this program. Sad.
    104 days ago
    It's a huge issue -- which is very difficult to resolve. Perhaps no "one size fits all" solution is possible since individual kids and their family circumstances are so very different: AND they change too.
    104 days ago
    Tough choice...
    105 days ago
  • NANCY-
    My son was faced with split learning models in his town and decided on a fulltime Catholic elementary school for his three little ones. Now the town may go back to fulltime in person.
    My sister distance teaches and has had excellent results with her students. I'm glad that I do not have deal this issues and there are choices for those that have to.
    105 days ago
    very hard decisions for parents Hugs
    105 days ago
    My grandchildren are all in one family, ranging from 4th to 12th grade, all in the public school system. Our district started out with a hybrid model, with the same concerns your district is facing. Other districts around us have various models: 5-day participation, hybrid model, full remote model.

    Our school board, at their last meeting, voted to move to a 5-day in-school model starting Oct. 26. Parents have the option of having their children learn remotely at that time, as well. The teachers will stream their classes and allow (really, expect) the remote learners to participate actively in the classes.

    There is a hope that many students will travel to and from school with their family members. Otherwise, the social distancing that has existed on the bus routes will be seriously compromised. I think the board feels this is the biggest logistical hurdle to overcome.

    105 days ago
    It is a difficult decision and the parents with help from their physicians and teachers should make it. Each child is different. Our son required a hybrid situation years ago and it worked out well. He was chronically ill and missed 30 days of kindergarten and 30 days of first grade. We would have not risked sending him to school in a covid environment. His teachers sent home school work and we helped him with it and his school work didn't suffer. He was valedictorian of his junior high class and high school class.
    105 days ago
    This issue disturbs me greatly, but I certainly don't have all the answers.

    Two of my grandchildren are in college, talking both online and in-person classes, and two of my grandchildren are in high school taking face-to-face classes. My youngest grandson, who has a 504 learning disability, is taking face-to-face classes in junior high.

    My daughter found out 10 days ago that my grandson was failing his first six-weeks in English because he wasn't being given his legal accommodations. It was discovered that the three children with learning disabilities (the only three in class that period) were trying to help each other while their teacher was using their class time to work with her online students.

    My daughter is a dedicated teacher in high school, and is stressed and overburdened with keeping up with the face-to-face AND the online requirements, plus her own children's needs. She has been telling me what all has been going on at the different campuses in their school district, and it is so upsetting that I have a hard time listening, not being able to do a thing about it.
    105 days ago
    All my grandchildren are grown. The youngest 2 in college. So I really don't have the problem myself, but my daughter is a teacher - back to regular classes with strong protocols in place. Parents can opt for online classes as an alternative and some teachers are assigned to that.

    My SIL is a teacher and they are all online.

    COVID has caused great disruption in all our lives.

    If everyone would take the virus seriously, we might be better able to handle in person education. In my area too many refuse to even wear a mask and ridicule those who do. It is very sad. That attitude is prolonging distress and increasing our numbers.
    105 days ago
    I'm with you... glad not to have to face this decision making as a parent! Our local high schools started out the first quarter with a hybrid model, and are dropping back to parent choice: all on site or all remote starting this month.

    105 days ago
    All your points are very valid! Hard decisions to be made. Glad my kids are grown and past that stage. I feel for parents today having to make these choices.

    105 days ago
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