Facebook question of the Week

Parents have mixed responses to their children returning to school

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CLAY COUNTY Although students have endured their first week back in school under extremely unique circumstances, not every child’s first week was the same.

Students haven’t been in traditional classroom since March 13 after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opted to close all schools to protect students and staff from COVID-19. The 2020-21 school year began on Aug. 25, and it presented a slew of options and challenges for parents, students and staff to work through. Some students returned to their classroom. Others continued to distance learning, and some opted for a hybrid mixture of the two.

We asked parents how the first week of school went as this week’s Facebook Question of the Week and responses were mixed.

“They are happy to be back at school,” resident Missy Leilani said. “They chose the hybrid option where they are at school for a few hours and have classes online at home as well.”

Leilani said it’s working out well for them so far. That’s a stark contrast to the experience parent Rebecca-Jane Grimm has had so far. She said that as a parent to an Individualized Education Program, this school year has been the worst one she’s ever experienced.

Students with IEPs or with 504 plans, which are plans for students with disabilities or learning barriers, already have more difficulty navigating a normal school year, Grimm said, but this year has really shone a spotlight on those challenges.

“With the pandemic going on now, no matter what choice we choose, is always going to be a struggle,” Grimm said. “Now I know counselors are swamped with all the options given and kids are everywhere these days...but [they] are not answering phone calls, emails, are refusing to see the parents for a meeting...it’s just not acceptable.”

She said that as a parent with a student that has an IEP, she really relies on the support a school offers and the lack of response she’s currently receiving is frustrating.

One parent spoke to Clay Today and said their child was enrolled in distance learning but that after one week, they enrolled their child back into the classroom. She said students were too busy messing around while the teacher was trying to teach through a laptop camera for her child to focus.

They said after the first day back at school after giving distance learning a go for a week was great. The child was excited to see their friends again and learn from a teacher without the distractions they said distance learning brought with it.

How was your child’s first week back at school? If you have thoughts, let us know by responding on the Facebook Question of the Week and keep an eye out on the Clay Today Newspaper Facebook page for the next one.

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