SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — Snohomish county parents have mixed feelings about the state superintendent’s hope to have all students back to face-to-face learning this Fall.
Many parents said their kids are eager to be back in class and have some semblance of normalcy, like Amanda who lives in Monroe. She said her kids are not doing well with distance learning.
“Returning to actual school would mean the kids have actual structure, learning and the ability to be kids! Learning is important. If we chose home schooling then it would be an easy thing but for our family public education was our route,” she said.
Others felt there needs to be some alternative options for parents who aren’t comfortable sending their kids back to school in masks.
“Schools should give both teachers and students the option to continue distance learning or resume school as normal. OR reduce the amount of students at school at a time by doing half days or alternate days,” said Jamae, the mother of first grader in Snohomish County.
But for parents like Katie Rivers it’s complicated.
“You’ve got kids with special needs such as my son, who has sensory processing disorder. He’s not going to keep a mask on for more than six seconds, he can’t,” Rivers told KING 5.
She works full time and can't cut back on hours to help with remote learning, but she adds, her son won’t do well with the social distancing guidelines the state superintendent is suggesting, like wearing a mask while at school.
“It’s a huge burden on our students, it’s a huge burden on our educators and there’s going to be real impacts on that with the plan they came out with today,” Rivers said.
Rivers said she hopes school is back to normal; and that parents who are concerned about the virus spreading should consider homeschooling.
“If you’re more comfortable with your student wearing a mask, then that’s awesome, so go for it. But if you’re a family like me who that won’t work with my son, then that’s awesome. He doesn’t have to wear a mask,” she said, “Home school has always been an option it’s still an option for families that are able to do that. But then there’s families that are not able to do that and we should be able to send our children to school.”
KING 5 reached out to several Snohomish County school districts for reaction and some got back to us.
Mukilteo School District released the following statement.
“Mukilteo School District has several work groups researching and developing reopening plans for this fall. OSPI’s guidance today echoes our goals to provide students with more in-person instruction and will further guide the work groups’ next steps. Staff will ask for input soon from students, parents and community organizations and develop plans that work best for our schools and community.”
Lake Stevens School District released this statement:
“We are currently reviewing the Reopening Washington Schools 2020: District Planning Guide that we received this morning from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. We are in the process of creating a workgroup of educators, nurses, support staff, parents and students to determine which of the suggested models will work best for our district. We will also have to consider local guidance from the Snohomish Health District related to our area’s pandemic statistics.
"We know that there are a great deal of questions, angst and uncertainty about what our school schedules and routines will be this fall. We thank our staff members, students and families for their patience and understanding. We cannot wait to see our students this September!”