ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City School District says in order to return back to an in-person learning model, they need to know how many parents plan to have their student come back, and how many don’t. A survey was released last week among parents to figure it out, and was recently extended to Friday due to a lack of participation.
Leslie Knox has a five year old in Pre-K at School 15. She says in-person learning is the best decision right now for her child, but the survey sent out this week didn’t paint a full enough picture for her to be comfortable.
“I don’t honestly know what it means, what it looks like,” she said.
Knox says the district plans to have eight students in a class for kindergarteners. But whenever that decision was made – Knox says there wasn’t an opportunity for her to express her thoughts on it. RCSD says the decision for this number came from state guidance, and it is only for Pre-K.
“Now I would be comfortable with specifically four students in a class where they are all tested including the teacher,” she said. Knox says she doesn’t have faith in her child to responsibly socially distance, being so young. She says the district’s plan and survey concern her, because they are too vague when it comes to addressing different age groups.
“They are 5-year-olds, what kinds of expectations can I realistically have for them. It’s not the same as the plan suggests, as they come out they seem to be geared towards older children,” she said.
Marisol Ramos-Lopez, the Chief of Communications for the district, says parents can expect a clearer picture of the learning process will look like – after the numbers are collected.
“Not knowing how many students are returning affects our ability to provide accurate transportation, our food service is dependent on that and then the number of teachers that are in the classroom teaching versus the ones that are teaching remotely,” she said.
On Tuesday morning, Ramos-Lopez said almost 80% of elementary students’ parents have responded, and about 60% of secondary students’ parents have responded.
“We need to make the best determination on how to do this, and also how to be financially responsible and efficient,” Ramos-Lopez said.
The district says they have been getting the word out in the form of social media, robocalls, emails and groups in their Office of Parent Engagement. The district will release the percentage of parents who choose in-person hybrid versus remote, once the survey has been completed.