HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — School districts are approving their own reopening plans left and right, but parents are quickly finding out no option is perfect and each comes with a set of challenges.
Hopewell Area School Board voted Monday night to send kids back to school in the fall with a hybrid schedule.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Weather: Some Northwestern Pa. Neighborhoods See Snow On Mother's Day
“Our class sizes will be cut in half. We will be splitting the alphabet and students with certain last names will be coming on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the rest on Wednesdays and Fridays,” said Assistant Superintendent Jacie Maslyk.
Maslyk said students would alternate in person instruction on Mondays and the off days would be for remote learning.
Larissa Mason’s son is heading into the second grade and she believes the hybrid schedule was the best option.
“I think it’s really important for kids at the elementary level to have that social interaction — really all kids need that interaction. It’s been really difficult. My son’s an only child,” said Mason.
She said she is lucky that she can work from home to accommodate the remote learning days, while other families aren’t as lucky.READ MORE: Jason Gagorik Steps In As New Chief Of Whitehall Borough Police Department
“What are those families suppose to do? If their child is Tuesday/Thursday, what do they do Monday, Wednesday, Friday? Are we expecting every family to have a neighbor, a grandparent, someone to help them? Because that’s not realistic,” said Bethany Pistorius, a parent.
Pistorius has two school-aged children and faced the struggles of remote learning in the spring. She said having some face-to-face instruction is ideal.
Many parents said childcare is the biggest concern when it comes to hybrid schedules for the fall.
“It’s a tall order, but I think employers need to be flexible with parents and understand it could change at the drop of a hat. It could change next month to be we are starting in ‘red’ or ‘green.’ Anything can change at any given time,” Mason said.
To prepare for these changes, the district is pushing back their start date to Sept. 8 as teachers and parents prepare for this new lifestyle.
“There’s no perfect answers and to have an expectation that any school district is going to have that perfect solution is just not realistic right now,” Pistorius said.MORE NEWS: Man Convicted Of Attempted Kidnapping Of Police Officers In Alleged Ambush Plot
As guidelines change, the school district can make the move to full remote learning or full five-day instruction throughout the fall.