HARMONY, Pa. (KDKA) — As back-to-school thoughts are on the minds of parents and students as we approach August, more and more districts across the Pittsburgh region are putting out their plans for fall.
Seneca Valley is one of those districts. However, one parent isn’t happy with the options her kids were given, so she along with other parents created a petition in hopes for some change before the school year starts.
“To be honest with you I’m at a complete loss as are a lot of other parents I discussed this with,” said this concerned mom.
This Seneca Valley parent who didn’t want to be identified has two kids in the district.
She’s the woman behind this petition. She’s requesting that Seneca Valley offer students a cohort model right off the bat with a live interactive classroom, an option where students who are working from home, could watch their teacher teach class live and have the ability to ask questions.
“This particular question about why we can’t offer a live interactive classroom was asked at a school board meeting. We were told there were issues with privacy, it was brought up other local districts using this model,” she said.
The three green phase options being offered right now: full-time in-person learning with enhanced health and safety protocols, a hybrid model which is part-time in person and part-time cyberlearning, and full-time cyber.
The concern for some parents like this mom is the interaction with teachers isn’t there when it comes to remote learning.
Right now a cohort option will only be offered if Butler County would move back to a yellow phase where students would only be in school certain days of the week, which would ultimately cut down on the number of students in school at one time.
However, a live interactive option still wouldn’t be offered.
“I might be looking at cyber school outside of our school district that is more interactive. None of those options sit well with me or clearly some of the other parents if you start reading through the comments in the petition,” she said.
KDKA reached out to the school district for a response.
The district gave the following statement:
“Seneca Valley is committed to communicating frequently and listening to the feedback provided by our stakeholders. We understand the importance of considering all creative ideas for delivering instruction during this time. We are also aware of the petition currently circulating by a parent who is also an employee in our district; however, it is concerning that the petition does not require residency in the Seneca Valley School District to sign. Therefore, we encourage those interested in such an option to instead contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to explore all options for our parents so they may make an educated choice.”
The petition does ask for the person signing to provide their address and zip code.
Some other school districts in the area, including Canon-McMillan, have said they do plan to offer a live interactive classroom model.
If Butler County remains in the green phase, Seneca Valley is scheduled to go back to school on August 26.