Parents have mixed reactions to new school metrics

Some parents believe it is too soon to send their kids back to school while others say this decision couldn't come soon enough.

Posted: Oct 31, 2020 7:36 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2020 11:51 PM

EUGENE, Ore. --- Parents are speaking out about the moving parts regarding what the remainder of the school year will look like for their children.

Governor Kate Brown released updated COVID-19 metrics on Friday that could potentially send 130,000 kids back to the classroom in the coming weeks.

RELATED: WATCH: GOV. BROWN ANNOUNCES NEW SCHOOL COVID-19 METRICS

Some parents believe it is too soon to do so, while others are breathing a sigh of relief.

Brandy Collier is a parent within the Eugene 4J School District. She’s balancing five different students' schedules, ranging from first grade through high school, as well as babysitting two young students. She said distance learning was initially intimidating but her children are now thriving.

“There's record high COVID cases," Collier said. "Why are we loosening things? This is the time when we need to be buckling down.”

Collier said school officials should be thinking about their long term goals. She said it is sad that sending your children back to school has become a political issue when in reality, it is a public health issue. 

“The schooling can be caught up,” Collier said. “We've got amazing teachers, but our kid’s lives...you can't make that up.”

April Holbrook has a son within the Eugene 4J School District who has ADHD. She said children are missing out socially during distance learning and she feels this option is not doing enough in regard to her son's education. 

“I understand the safety precautions,” Holbrook said. “I feel like it is time that our children start getting the education that we're paying everyone for, because at this level they're not. They're just kids. It's just such a difference."

Holbrook said she is grateful her son receives face-to-face interaction through Zoom, but it’s just not the same.

“If they were just completely online like they were at the end of last year, a lot of children are going to fall through the cracks, especially those with disabilities.”

Nikole Garcia enrolled her children in an online charter school so that she would be able to make the decision she feels is best on her own terms. 

“Everything's going to change, and we don't really know what that looks like,” Garcia said. “That seems like a really bad time to make a bunch of decisions. There's a bunch to adjust to already.”

Garcia said there’s always going to be someone who does not adapt well with changes.

“We try to do what's best for us and hopefully everyone's okay in the end,” Garcia said.

Teachers unions and district officials spoke out on Monday about how they feel regarding the changes. 

RELATED: GOV. BROWN'S NEW SCHOOL METRICS MEET MIXED REACTIONS

“We're all doing the best we can,” Collier said. “Our teachers are, wow, superheroes.”

As of right now, Benton, Coos and Douglas counties can all follow the hybrid model.

While their positivity rates are low, it's the cases per 100,000 that is keeping them from moving to on-site learning completely.

Both Lane and Linn counties will stay in the transition phase.

More information on the metrics can be found here.

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