Arizona parents struggle with decision between online and in-person learning | Coronavirus in Arizona

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Today is the deadline for Washington Elementary School District parents to change their minds if they want their child in full-time in person learning, hybrid learning, or full-time online for the fall semester.

District spokesperson Pam Horton explained in an e-mail “we need to know parents’ selections for staffing and scheduling to start the second quarter.”

It’s a tough decision that thousands of parents across the state have had to do or may be asked to do this year. Some may be feeling frustrated after finding out they can’t change their decisions or there’s no flexibility as metrics fluctuate or trend up or down.

Mom Brittney Kuhn regrets choosing virtual learning in a survey sent to her back in August for her 8-year-old daughter Loveah.

“A little stressful. In August, they did a survey, they didn’t say anything about it being a permanent decision and it was just marked as a parent survey and at the time, the coronavirus was still a little bad. I wasn’t quite ready with her going back in. Now things are calming down in our town and my daughter’s declining in school,” she explained about online learning.

Loveah is in third grade in the Bullhead City Elementary School District.

“The internet going down and it gives me headaches,” she said. “Just sad and bored. Just want to go back to school.”

Arizona’s Family asked the Bullhead City Elementary School District superintendent for a response. Here’s the statement she emailed:

“A parent who selected continuation of virtual distance learning for a child reversed the decision and insisted that the child attend school in person after class assignments had already been made. District officials denied the request. The parent became belligerent and verbally abusive on the phone, through emails, and in person. Now that parent has threatened legal action, the District cannot comment further.”

Kuhn disagrees she was belligerent and explains she’s just desperate for help to get her daughter back in the classroom.

For now, it appears there’s nothing she can do. The district is sticking by their decision to not allow parents to make any changes to their choices, regardless if there’s a misunderstanding.

According to the 2020 – 2021 learning options survey, it’s written and the intro paragraph, “Parents must choose to enroll their student in in-person learning or distance learning (virtual learning) for the semester. In December, parents may request a change in learning option.”

Midway through the survey, another reminder reads, “Families must choose to enroll their student in in-person learning or distance learning (virtual learning) for the entire semester. Parents may request a change in learning option in December 2020. Changes will take place at start of second semester in January 2021.”

Kuhn said that wording is not clear enough and didn’t know that her choice will be permanent for the fall semester.

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