In the course of covering Gov. Roy Cooper’s nightmare back to school plans, Civitas has been surveying and collecting responses from parents about the possibility of their children returning to school on a part-time basis with no more than 50% of the time being in-person and 50% remote learning. Wake County and Mecklenburg County have adopted preferred plans that would have children on campus only one week out of every three.
Following are some of the comments from parents who simply do not believe this type of limited on-campus instruction will benefit their children academically or be manageable for their families.
Carol, a mother with children in Wake County schools said, “This is not a possibility for working adults. Schools should open completely with no restrictions and on time. Our future is at stake with the education of our children.”
Beth, a teacher in Charlotte says, “It’s crazy! I have children in the 2nd, 6th, and 10th grades. I work full time as a teacher. Do I bring them with me? Who helps them at home if I’m not allowed? How’s leaving them responsible?”
Allison has a kindergartener in Charlotte: “Kids need social interactions, physical touch and normalcy. They are not badly affected by the virus and ANY plan other than normal school is absurd.”
Deborah Morse who has a 5th grader and a 1st grader in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system says:
“I would have to quit working which is something we could not afford. My husband and I have legal custody of our two grandchildren. I work for a church childcare center and they are reopening in August. I will have my full-time job back and this would be my 25th year working there. Because they are a religious organization they do not pay into unemployment. I do not have the stamina to homeschool all day and then find a night job. The second and most important concern I have about this remote learning is our oldest grandchild is going into 5th grade and he has an IEP. He has learning disabilities that affect reading and math. Our second grandchild will be going into first grade. We believe and so does her kindergarten teacher that she is behind and may have learning disabilities too. The school was going to start the process that would lead to getting her tested for learning disabilities this next year. How is that whole process supposed to happen under Cooper’s plan? Children with learning disabilities are at a major disadvantage under Cooper’s plan. Special Education teachers zoom but when the kids are not in the classroom with teacher reinforcement or learning also with peer reinforcement you are setting them up for failure. I worked as hard as I could the months from March to when school got out schooling and helping my grandkids but I am not a special education teacher nor do I have the experience a classroom teacher has to be able to properly educate or keep my special needs grandchildren engaged in any kind of grade level education. Under Cooper’s plan this is not fair expectations or education for special needs children. Also how is a year like the past three and half months going to prepare our fifth grader for middle school the following year? I am begging you all to please not overlook the needs of families with children with learning disabilities.”
Sadie a mother from Wake County with a 2nd, 9th and 10th grader adds: “I strongly prefer a primarily remote based learning model this year with perhaps one day on location in small groups. I want a hybrid, but I want to make sure my children aren’t in full classrooms or endangering their health.”
Kelly a mother from Cary, with an 8th grader wrote: “Our state education system is so political it is disgusting. Decisions are no longer made in the interest of the students.”
Kristie with three children in Mecklenburg: (8th, 7th and Kindergarten) “I like the part time go to school two days a week schedule to enable distancing and time with teachers.”
Misty Hilliard who has a rising Kindergartener and 1st grader living in the Wake Forest area of Wake County says overall the restrictions placed on schools, “are completely unreasonable and likely to work for very few families. Does Roy Cooper really want the state’s economy to implode? Remote learning did not work when the stay-at-home order was initiated. Our Kindergartener was only able to complete a few assignments. She essentially skipped the second half of Kindergarten.”
Lisa from Wake County added: “Kids are playing together now in the neighborhoods and pools. Keeping them apart in August is pointless. Parents had to give up social distancing for their kids weeks ago to survive this!”