SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - After the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System made the decision to remain virtual to start the next semester, parents have had a wide range of reactions.
“I’m very frustrated because I see the counties around us going back to school.”
“They are doing the right thing by keeping everybody safe.”
A lot of different opinions on the choice for Savannah-Chatham students to remain virtual as the county sees high COVID-19 cases. Some feel this is the safest decision.
“Not only would I stay virtual just for the safety reasons, just because of all the back and forth you know all the changes and to me that can hurt a child just as much as staying virtual,” SCCPSS parent Michelle Walker said.
Some on the other side say they are pulling their kids from the district.
“We have had to make the heart-breaking decision to move our Pre-k’er out of Savannah-Chatham County because she’s not getting the education that she needs and Monday she’ll start at a new Pre-K that can offer 5 days of in-person learning,” SCCPSS parent Amanda Barnes said.
Barnes says she feels SCCPSS students are being left behind.
“It’s affecting the well-being of an entire generation and the fact that our county isn’t back to school when private and charter schools around us are back in, when all of the surrounding counties are back in, to me and to other parents I’m not alone in this,” Barnes said. She isn’t. Melissa Semken also worries for her children.
“They’re not learning anything and what’s going to happen when my first grader goes to second grade and he still can’t read or do basic math,” Semken said.
But other families say virtual learning is working for them and their high school students.
“She is excelling. She is a high honor roll student, she has learning disabilities and she is doing it all on her own with some little bit of help which sometimes the IEP teachers will actually Zoom call her,” SCCPSS parent Stacia Jackson said.
Several parents say they appreciate the teachers’ hard work and recognize the challenges, but ultimately what divides them is their personal experience - as several continue to grapple with the setbacks this year others are looking ahead.
“Instead of focusing on this school year, let’s focus on what we need to do for next school year to get this kids back because I think that’s important,” Walker said.