Parents from one central Pennsylvania school district are calling on administrators to repeal the hybrid school model rolled out this fall amid the prolonged coronavirus and return their children to five-days a week in-classroom instruction.
About a dozen parents from Central Dauphin School District on Monday staged a quiet protest in the parking lot just ahead of tonight’s school board meeting, with the hopes that the board will take up the issue and scrap the hybrid model.
Teresa Fortney, who organized the gathering, said scores of parents are reporting what she has experienced herself first-hand as a parent of a child in the district: that the children are not learning in the hybrid model.
“I can tell you hands down that the kids in the hybrid learning are taking a huge loss in what they are learning,” she said. “There is no instruction. There is zero instruction.”
The district like scores of others across Pennsylvania in August announced it was re-open schools on a hybrid model that staggers the number of students in schools at one time. Students attend in-classroom instruction two days a week and the other three days learn remotely from home.
“Nothing is being handed in,” Fortney said. “I don’t know how they are tracking whether things are right or wrong.”
She said her son has severe reading comprehension problem but is getting no special attention.
“Nothing has been brought to the attention of any kids that need further assistance,” Fortney said.
PennLive on Monday reached out to administration officials in the district but did not immediately hear back from anyone. At the school board meeting following the rally, Superintendent Dr. Normal Miller said they are tentatively planning to resume full-time in-person instruction in mid-October.
The parents who gathered in the parking lot were hoping that members of the school board will put on the table a proposal to scrap the hybrid model and return to five-days a week in-class instruction.
“My son is very social,” said Elisa Scharf whose son attends Central Dauphin East High School “The lack of socialization is just tearing him up. He’s lost his motivation to do work. He is very depressed.”
The majority of school districts in central Pennsylvania have chosen to begin school with a hybrid model, but there are districts that are back to school full-time, just as there are districts that have gone to 100 percent online instruction.