Mixed reviews from local students and teachers on potential return to classroom

Back to School: Facts First

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As the question of what school will look like in the fall continues to hang in limbo, students and teachers are reacting to the state’s guidelines for reopening. It still hasn’t been decided whether they will reopen in-person or remotely.

Students at Bishop Kearney have mixed feelings. Some said they’re hoping to come back in person in the fall and that they haven’t been learning as well online. Others said they’d rather play it safe and continue learning remotely to avoid risking spreading the virus.

Miles Rose finished his freshman year at Bishop Kearney online. He’s hoping to be able to start school in the classroom in the fall.

“It’s been kind of difficult because you don’t have your teachers present there and if you don’t understand something it’s kind of difficult to get in contact with them,” said Rose.

Marianna Freeman will be a senior at Bishop Kearney in the fall. While she agrees online learning isn’t ideal she said she’s not ready to go back in person.

“I would prefer still learning online because I heard there’s possibility that there might be a second wave of the coronavirus and like I said I’m an athlete, I don’t want to take any chances of getting sick and I’m human too. I wouldn’t want to put myself at risk or my family,” said Freeman.

Maureen Doohan is a teacher at School 34 in the Rochester City School District. She said out of her class of 22 students only five showed up regularly for remote learning this past school year.

“I do feel like the access to internet was a huge issue with my students and they just can’t follow up with that, ‘hey I have a question about this.’ Like, ‘okay you can see me during my office hours three days from now.’ We need that right-away reinforcement,” Doohan said.

Even so, she said going back in person feels too risky.

“One of the kids said to me, ‘I don’t want to go to school because I don’t want to get you sick and I don’t want to bring something home to my parents either,’ and I think that’s a huge responsibility for kids to bear. If I really do care about them we need to do it remotely to keep everyone safe.”

Doohan said she has particular concerns about getting kids to social distance especially in smaller classrooms like hers. She also said there’s a number of teachers in her school alone that are over age 55 and she doesn’t want to risk putting them in danger.

Districts must submit reopening plans to the state by July 31.

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