Schools need to return to in-person education each day, with no more remote

Posted 16 October 2020 at 12:56 pm


As a parent of 3 children in the Albion School District, I find it disheartening the way these children are being forced to learn. The struggle for the parents and students has increased the anxiety and depression levels, not only for the students but the parents that are trying to “teach” our children.

As mentioned, I have 3 children, each one is in a different school (2nd, 7th & 10th grade), and I find my 7th grader having many of the struggles between the three of them. Last year my child was on the high honor roll, and this year he is barely passing.

Now, I do understand that the older these children get, the harder the material gets. However, this is not the case. Most of the material the first 2-3 weeks was review from the amount of school they missed last year. Again, coming from 6th grade on the high honor roll, there’s no excuse for him to be struggling. I’ve found that his struggles come from the lack of structure. These children (all children) need structure and unfortunately, New York State has deeply failed them.

Now let’s talk about my 2nd grader. He’s a typical 7-year-old boy. His attention span can become non-existent in the drop of a hat. The best way to describe his parents teaching him is “like nailing Jell-O to the wall.”

Putting him or any other elementary student in front of a Chromebook on Schoology (which is an absolute horrid platform when it works) for hours on end is ridiculous. What do you think these children are obtaining from staring at a screen? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I find myself feeling like a failure as a “teacher” and a parent. Why? Because or routine is frequently interrupted due to the high volume of students on Schoology at the same time. When we had Google Classroom while in quarantine, we very rarely had any issues. Though, I am grateful that the school has provided the built in MiFi, that also is a nightmare to work most days.

The bottom line is, our children need structure. They need school 5 days a week. They need regular teachers teaching them full time. They need their old routine back. I do understand that parents are nervous about the spread of Covid-19 and their children contracting it, but cold and flu season is also upon us.

Do we, or have we, deprived our children from a solid learning environment during cold and flu season? No. We have not. Five to 20 percent of New Yorkers will contract the cold or flu virus as 2.42% of New Yorkers to date have contracted Covid-19.

New York needs to open the schools back up. These children need to learn full time from educators in person, and not their parents/grown-ups that struggle just as much as they do. We as parents are not equipped to “teach”. That is why we pay school taxes, for educators to teach our child.

As a full-time working mom, and having to “teach” my children, I find it nothing less than a struggle. New York needs to get it together and give these children a chance to learn adequately.

Marene Donnelly