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Parents react to Lansing’s online learning plan

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 17, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing School District parents have mixed feelings about the decision to move students to online only classes when school resumes in the fall.

For Kelsea Dillard, the mom of a theater loving student at Dwight Rich School of the Arts, the move was music to her ears.

“Honestly, with a lot of other school districts not having said anything, I was glad to have some feedback,” Dillard said.

Following right behind that excitement came some questions.

“My concerns would be children absolutely do miss out on the social interaction,” Dillard said. “Having face-to-face interaction with other students is quite significant, but I mean honestly, I would rather have my daughter safe than to have her exposed to children who may be asymptomatic.”

Dillard said it helps that she’s already home during school hours, but she’s not a teacher.

“So it does mean a little bit different for me,” Dillard said. “Fourth grade was a head scratcher for sure, so I can only imagine what fifth grade is going to look like.”

Christine Gonzalez has even more concern. She will attempt to help her four kids at four different schools while working outside the home.

“I would like to still see the schools be face-to-face not online,” Gonzalez said. “It was stressful for me as a parent for me to come home and do homework. I mean I support my kids, but as a working mom doing the mom life, that’s more work on the parents I think.”

Parents of students with disabilities who require specialized instruction say they are working as hard as they can, but feel like their kids are getting left behind.

“A lot of parents who have kids with education and 504 plans are not going to be satisfied with the answer that was given today, far from it,” third grade parent Brian Hagler said. “It’s hard enough to do virtual learning with kids who don’t have any quote-unquote special needs. If you have a kid with a disability — physical, mental or psychological — it’s going to make it 10 times more difficult.”

Hagler hopes the screen-to-screen learning will be different and improved from the virtual learning of the spring and summer.

LSD will address and get into the questions parents have next week during their three stakeholder virtual forums. They plan to assess their decision after the first quarter ends on November 6.

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