Sunday, July 26, 2020

With a remote start to the school year, parents worry about child care, IEPs and socialization

From The Journal

Caitlin Sievers

RACINE — Everyone seems to have an opinion about Racine Unified’s decision to begin the upcoming school year remotely.

Some social-media commenters acknowledged that any decision was liable to anger a sizable group of parents. Others criticized RUSD for not giving parents the option to send their children to the school building for in-person lessons and worried about the countless issues and repercussions bound to arise from the decision to keep kids at home.

The district announced its decision on Friday. Students are to learn remotely through the end of the first quarter, Nov. 6. Plans for the second quarter are to be announced by Oct. 19.

Working parents

Sitting outside on Friday afternoon, Natasha Mullen watched her four kids play with their cousins.

Her kids are 12, 10, “almost 4” and 2, and three of them would normally be in school this fall going into grades 7, 5 and 4K.

“For the younger kids, it’s understandable,” Mullen said. “They don’t understand social distancing.”

But she still thinks the older kids should have been back in school so that they can learn and that parents should have been able to decide for themselves what is best for their children.

She works at a group home and is not able to be with her children at every moment.

“I cannot give up working,” she said. While the 12-year-old can help, she said her oldest daughter cannot do her schoolwork and help the younger two do their schoolwork at the same time. Help is limited because others in her family also have jobs. “We have to work,” she said.

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