Superintendent of Schools says reopening going ‘incredibly well,’ others saying not really

Back to School: Facts First

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Kathleen Graupman, the Superintendent of Schools for Monroe County, held a Zoom call Thursday on everything to do with COVID-19 and kids going back to the classroom.

“What I can say is, the opening of school has gone incredibly well,” says Graupman.

Graupman says when it comes to the masking, disinfecting of classrooms and buses, everyone from teachers, to students, to staff are doing a great job across the region. “By and large, it’s been a huge success in getting started,” she adds.

Graupman says even with some positive COVID-19 cases, they anticipated those, and worked with the Department of Health, and disinfected classroom and school buses. Some challenges, Graupman says, are with some of the tech in hybrid learning, like spotty wi-fi and getting people used to the platform. “We’re working through a lot of those issues,” she says.

But the largely rosy picture on reopening by Graupman is getting some push back. “Well…I wish I could be that positive,” says Karen Iglesia of Prime Time Learning Pods.

Iglesia helps teach and tutor students in nine school districts across the region, including Monroe County. She says the curriculum is watered down and students aren’t spending enough time dialed into their learning. 

“I’m seeing some kids, this is their second full week (who) have no homework. Many parents will tell you that. They’re online a maximum of two hours a day,” says Iglesia. “It’s a swath across the board that they’ve lowered the standards,” she adds.

Iglesia says there are no challenges involved for students at the districts she’s been working with. Instead, they’re sort of floating through. She says parents have now become the teachers and are increasingly frustrated. She wants the districts to step and do more, or else kids are going to fall dramatically behind.

“These teachers should be teaching and going through their period one, period two, three, four, just like any other day. (Students are) just checking in the first 15 to 20 minutes in the morning online, and that’s it. Then they get ‘assignments’ that (teachers) just hand out to them and they turn in. That’s not teaching,” says Iglesia.

Some parents, who wished to remain anonymous, said the reopening process has been frustrating, and they reiterated many of the same concerns that Iglesia did.

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