SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Parents of some of the youngest learners in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System want the option to send them back to the classroom.
Wednesday, they’re hoping to have some answers. The school board will have a workshop meeting from 9 a.m. until noon to discuss its in-person learning plan. You can watch over video conference through the district’s website.
The board’s regular meeting begins at 2 p.m. That’s when several parents are signed up to speak during public comment. Parents are hopeful Wednesday will be the chance to have their voices heard.
Parents say the toughest part of all of this is not knowing when their children can return to class. Many are stretched to their limits - financially, mentally and emotionally. And they want Savannah-Chatham County schools to give them an option for in-person learning. For the Kozlowski family, the school year began with a change in routine. Randi is back to working full-time after maternity leave with their fourth child, 2-month old Kolton. Her two oldest children, 4-year-old Karoline and 7-year-old Karson, are now both in Savannah-Chatham schools.
Well, sort of.
“We drop them off around 8 in the morning. They do all of their schoolwork, their Zoom meetings, and in between they teach them gymnastics.”
It’s been an all-virtual start to the school year. One that’s costing the Kozlowskis.
“$1,200 a month to send PreK and 2nd grade student to the Y.”
Three weeks of e-learning, the Kozlowskis had hoped for a break from the financial strain - or at least a timeline.
“So, everything that I’m hearing is everyone is advocating for hybrid or in school, but that’s not what’s being decided on.”
Then the superintendent announced all virtual school, indefinitely, after Labor Day.
“It’s very frustrating as a parent, especially a working parent to plan ahead with one week notice of them not going back to school and not knowing when. You know, is it going to be Christmas time? Is it going to be October? November? It’s tough.”
No timeline; just color coded bar graphs.
The district has said data including the community spread numbers for COVID-19 are driving the decision to reopen. Falling behind is a concern for Pre-K through 2nd graders and special needs children.
Educators say those the groups most at risk for falling behind in a virtual learning environment and also the ones they want to return to school first.
For the Kozlowskis, the concern is what their children will lose in the meantime, especially the one in PreK.
“These babies need school. They need the social interaction. They need face-to-face, fine motor skills, gross motor skills. They’re still learning, and you can’t do that on a computer.”
More answers are expected Wednesday during a school board workshop meeting at 9 a.m. and the regular meeting that begins at 2 p.m. Also, the board is expected to hear directly from parents at its regular meeting.
There is a way for you to watch and sign up to speak on the school district’s website. But because of the parent interest, the district says it will limit public comment to topics with parent representatives.