Friday was the last day for public school parents to choose how they would like their children to be taught this coming academic year. They could decide for their children to learn from home using online instruction, learn from home with hard copy packets, or go back to school on an alternating schedule.
Although responses are still being gathered, the preliminary data from one middle school shows that around 70 percent of its students would like to learn from home.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says that this kind of input is important to determine how to organize resources to accommodate students.
“If you think about that response … that 70 percent of your students at the beginning of the year might not be comfortable with coming back to school physically, it definitely tells us that we need to invest a lot of our time and effort to make sure we’re supporting online learning, supporting the lessons at home, supporting our parents, and looking at ways to provide homework assistance or tutoring,” Fernandez said.
However, Fernandez acknowledges that these results could be different at another school depending on the different circumstances students and families may be experiencing.
“Sometimes, you hear in the community that people want their kids to come back as soon as possible because people need to get back to work. I know that our economy is not fully reopened yet, but there is that pressure for parents and guardians to go back to work and that means kids are likely going to go back to school,” Fernandez said.
He added: “But to have 70 percent of your students and say, ‘we’re not ready’ … We think 100 percent at home instruction is the best and safest option right now. That’s very instructive for us to consider and we’re going to make the adjustments as we go forward.”