ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Teachers at Roseburg Public Schools will have a place to leave their own kids while they’re at work.
This year, the teachers are required to teach their class virtually from their classrooms. However, that means they’ll be away from their own kids who are likely distance learning.
That’s why the school board approved a plan last week that provides on-site child care throughout the school week.
“It’s necessary,” said human resources director Robert Freeman. “In order for our staff to be engaged in the work we need them to be engaged in.”
There will be one day care center in each of the 13 schools in the district. The teacher will bring the student with them in the morning and pick them up when they are finished. The parents will be allowed to check on their kids throughout the day.
“All of our staff can take advantage of it because we believe we need all of our staff focused and engaged,” said Freeman.
He said they will be using some of their classified staff to run the day care centers. Since it’s limited to school-aged kids, he said the staff will be there to help with distance learning if they need it.
Roseburg Education Association President Cameron Pope also teaches fifth grade at Eastwood Elementary School. He said he knows first-hand how difficult it can be juggling teaching and parenting during the pandemic.
“It was really difficult for me personally at home to teach fifth-graders and to teach a second-grader as dad teacher,” he said.
However, Pope said the day care program will allow teachers to focus on their classes while knowing their kids are safe.
“We provide great education for families and my child and children will receive great education too,” he said.
Freeman said the program will only be temporary. He said they are looking to shut down the program once students return to in-person learning.
If they meet certain metrics set by the state, the district plans to bring grades kindergarten through third back by Oct. 5 and fourth grade through 12th grade by Nov. 2.
The school year is slated to start Sept. 8.