RCSD about to close a fully remote semester, ‘there is some learning loss and that can be made up’

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ROCHESTER (WROC) — With the Rochester City School District’s fully remote semester almost over, News 8 wanted to check in with a parent on how it went, and how their children have been doing with classes being so different this year.

Maurice Haskins has two children in RCSD schools. He says while he’s looking forward to the new hybrid learning model that will be implemented next semester, there will be some catching up to do from the pandemic.

One problem Haskins noted was screen time overload. “I would say if one part has been challenging it’s the child has so much screen time. Lot of screen time, and then homework is also on computer, specials,” he said.

“There is a legitimate lack of learning because parents are parents – and parents are not teachers.”

Haskins says he eventually was able to find a groove where he could be more involved in his student’s day. He says part of moving forward is the communication between parents and the district.

“Families just have to be as informed as much as possible, I just feel important decisions aren’t made for parents, parents are part of the process.”

Haskins says he does believe that parents have been more a part of the decision process for next semester plans, something he says a big improvement from this summer.

President of Rochester Teachers Association Dr. Adam Urbanski also agrees there’s catching up to be had for the loss of that in-person engagement.

“There is some learning loss and that can be made up,” said Urbanski.

But Urbanski says, much like Haskins he is also focused on looking forward.

“We feel really good about the decision we’ve made in the city of Rochester,” he said.

“Most of good teaching and learning is grounded in good relationships. Our teachers work very hard to develop relationships with students, children learn from those teachers largely because they trust know them love them. When you go to fully remote work, it’s hard to sustain those relationships but not impossible. When it comes to children teaching and learning you have to be mindful and sustain those relationships,” he said.

R-Centers, where students can study and get mentorship and help with school work, will remain open through any color zone. The State Department of Health says they are essential and low-risk for transmission.

“R-Centers are as safe as the school districts and schools that have reopened, transmission very low, while there is some risk the risk is relatively low,” said Urbanski.

Statement from the State Dep. of Health on R-Centers:

Both the R-Centers and the community organizations hosting remote students who need Wi-Fi access for online learning may remain open in the Orange zones because they are not designated as high-risk or non-essential. They may remain open in the current Orange zone, or even in a Red zone, as essential services which include the supervision of school-aged children.

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