EUGENE, Ore.-- Back-to-school season is right around the corner, and parents in Eugene are preparing to send their students back in classrooms.
But with COVID-19 cases surging again, a big concern among parents is if they want to send their children back to school in person.
The 4J School District sent out an email to parents saying they must act quickly to pursue virtual learning for their children.
However, some parents said they are excited to send their kids back to school five days a week for in-person learning.
4J parent Lindsey Frye said both her kids would be returning to complete in-person learning in the fall.
"My son last year—his junior year—did fabulous at home, online," Frye said. "But my 10-year-old daughter did not."
Her daughter is not vaccinated yet because she isn't eligible, while her son has gotten his shot. But regardless of vaccination status, she said going back to school is crucial.
"She really needs that in-person instruction, and so we are sending her back," Frye said.
Per OHA guidelines, students and staff must mask up and follow other health protocols.
The school district said 97 percent of responding parents want their students to learn entirely on-site this fall.
Maya Robershaw, a middle school student at a 4J school, said she's about to enter 8th grade and is counting down the days until she gets to be reunited with her friends in the classroom.
"I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and going back to school because I really didn't learn very much last year," Robershaw said.
She told KEZI she didn't enjoy online learning.
But for those who are not comfortable heading back into the classroom due to COVID-19 concerns—4J is offering two distance learning options for the coming school year.
For elementary students-- they are offering a combination of real-time teaching and independent learning opportunities.
In addition—all grades are offered access to the Eugene Online Academy.
"I'm glad people have that option because there are a lot of people out there that aren't being responsible," Frye said.
But time is running out. You must submit your request for one of these online learning options by Aug. 23.
Later requests may be accepted if space is available.
You can apply by going to this link.
Bethel School District and Springfield Public Schools also intend to go back to full in-person learning with online options.