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Parents adjust to virtual start to Flint Community Schools new year

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 2:24 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Ready or not, classes are underway in Flint Community Schools.

The district says those classes will stay online at least through mid-September. For some parents, that means peace of mind, even if it requires more work at home.

One challenge for parents on the first day of school Wednesday was waking their kids up after a long summer. In 2020, that challenge still exists, but it doesn’t end there when children are attending school online.

Brittny Giles experienced that four times with her children all in different grade levels and kept them all in the same part of the house.

“If I separate them, I put them all in their own rooms, one of my children might have a question, so I’d be running from room to room to room,” she said.

Giles has children age 10, 7, 5 and 3 all attending various grades at Flint Community Schools.

“That’s mother’s child,” she said. “Protect these babies.”

While she says children need valuable social skills they get from school, she’s not ready to send her kids back any time soon.

“At this point, I don’t think I’m going to send them back in September,” Giles said. “Maybe the month after, because if an adult can’t keep their mask on their face, how are we going to tell these kids to keep their mask on their face?”

The district says teachers spent their day connecting with young scholars and their parents, making sure they have electronic devices, WiFi hot spots and other tools to succeed while learning online.

Administrators say they know the best way to learn is face-to-face instruction, but safety comes first.

“The way that we’re fighting is by staying safe by keeping our scholars safe and making sure our teachers are safe, our staff is safe,” said Assistant Superintendent Kevelin Jones. “My hope is that we get back to face-to-face learning, but right now my current hope is that we all stay safe.”

He said the district may opt to reopen classrooms on Sept. 14. That will, of course, depend on the state of coronavirus at that time. Even if school buildings open, parents like Giles may still opt out and keep their children learning at home if they choose.

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