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Parents Sending Kids Back to Class After Virtual Concerns

The EVSC Virtual Academy and other online options are a lifeline for some parents wanting to keep their kids at home, but not all parents are pleased with the new format and are sending their kids back to class, even with fears of them contracting COVID-19.

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 5:41 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:51 AM

While some parents continue to take their kids out of the classroom out of fear they’ll contract Covid-19, others are fed up with the online options and are sending their kids back to school.

"There was just so many issues with getting the devices,” said EVSC parent Liz Garcia. “We had to wait a while for that. The platform for the Virtual Academy was not functioning."

But Jason Woebkenberg, EVSC spokesperson, says while there have been issues with these learning platforms, it was more of a problem with the companies. 

"Both of those are national-level platforms and they've also experienced tremendous growth -- just like with our own Virtual Academy,” he said. “So, I think with that there were some growing pains for these companies. They and their teams at a national level were working diligently to make corrections. Our team locally has been worthing with them. Those issues have been resolved. They are much better now."

But, from having to deal with her kids using different devices for classwork and not hearing from teachers for several days, Garcia said she has just had it with the Virtual Academy.

"I have a full-time job where I work from home so I don't have time to lesson plan for my kids and keep them occupied for the day,” she said. “So we were looking for guidance from the Virtual Academy and it just wasn't here."

While Garcia didn't voice her concerns to teachers, understanding they are already in a stressful position. But, now that she’s sent her kids back to school, she’s worrying about their safety and not just their education.

"I felt like my kids mental health was definitely suffering like I said with the lack of interaction. The lack of organization and structure with the Virtual Academy and I just felt like they really needed that structure,” Garcia said. “I hope it was the right decision -- but we'll see."

Currently, there are over 3,000 students enrolled in the Virtual Academy. Students in Grades K through 8 can change their learning option every nine weeks while the EVSC asks high school students to choose by semester.

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