• 84°

Parents weigh school options

With last week’s release of opening plans from Charlotte County Public Schools, some area parents are concerned that two days of in-school instruction may not be beneficial, while many  others are left to figure out childcare options.

“It’s going to be a struggle for us working-class people,” Brandy Hawkins said. “It already is a struggle finding someone to babysit, more less teach your child if they will even do that.”

For Hawkins, she said one of her children wants to go to school the two days a week, but her oldest child does not.

“He wants online 100%, but the struggle is going to be I’m not there to get him up and who will show him how to do the math or whatever else he needs to know,” Hawkins said. “I don’t have good phone service where I live much less internet.”

For Tracy Hylton, who lives in the Bacon/Saxe area of the county, she is not in favor of the reopening plan.

“I don’t agree with the two days a week,” Hylton said. “I don’t feel the kids will retain any information in the classroom with direct learning two days a week, then two days virtual. I feel kids will benefit more 100% virtual and or homeschooling. Or if the school did a week on/week off schedule.”

Hylton said the problem with 100% virtual is internet service in the county, but she is hoping that internet boosters and hotspots will help her children as they learn online.

Hylton also said that being in the health care field and what she has learned over the past few months, she feels that children need to be exposed.

“Information I’ve heard from the American Academy of Pediatrics, they recommend more lenient guidelines than the CDC such as all kids going to school,” she said. “I feel we need to expose our children to build up immunity, let them enjoy their childhood, and let them get the proper education. While not everyone may agree, let the parents who do agree, send their kids to school on the normal schedule that school was regularly scheduled.”

Virginia Beard said her son Carter would be attending school two days a week because of her and her husband’s work schedule and limited childcare options.

“I realize that the guidelines are restricting school choices, and they are due to safety,” Beard said. “It is what it is—challenging for all involved, including teachers, parents, and kids. I think anxiety and worries are high for parents and teachers right now because this is so far from the normal routines that we have been accustomed to and will radically change even further how we have all lived our lives. As parents, I think many of us, myself included, are very concerned not only about our kid’s physical health, but also about our kid’s educational growth in this model, and significantly about their social and mental health in this model.”