Challenges change for parents in age of COVID-19

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:04 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Perhaps no one has more angst over the upcoming school year than parents. We spoke to some parents as they discuss how school plans will impact their kids, with changes in store based on keeping everyone safe from COVID-19.

It used to be buying school supplies and getting kids out of bed were some of the challenges of going back to school. This year is unprecedented.

WDBJ7′s Jean Jadhon took to Zoom and spoke with some parents to find out what’s on their minds.

The biggest concerns of Cassie Thomas? “There are lots of them.”

Thomas is a mom of two in Roanoke. “Everything from the virus itself to adjusting to everything they’re going to have to deal with this upcoming school year.”

Theresa Cox has four children; three are school age.

“What are they going to do if the school shuts down and someone tests positive?”

Rachel Spencer said, “My son is five and going to school for the very first time. Is this going to be setting him back from the start?”

Lauren Wood has the same worry. Her daughter will go to second grade five days a week at Herman L. Horn in Roanoke County, but she wonders what will happen if they have to go back to virtual.

“And she just doesn’t do well virtually. What is this year really going to mean for her and will she be behind as a result of it?”

Dr. Elizabeth Martin is a physician and mother of two middle school students and one high school student in Roanoke. She’s chosen the four-day-a-week option for her children, and while she says they could do virtual if needed, she worries about others.

“I have concerns about the children that get more than academics from school. They get mental health support at school.”

Every situtation is different and families are making decisions based on their individual circumstances.

Belinda Argabright has two children in Bedford County schools who need special instruction.

“I’m a firm believer that my kids need to be in school with teachers. There are kids that don’t have internet where we live. A lot of our kids either don’t have internet or can’t pay for it.”

While Debbie Hobbs lives with two family members at high risk, an elderly parent and an immunocomprimised partner, she’s decided to keep her middle schooler at home.

“Even if my son didn’t have it, he could still carry it back to them.”

These parents had many ideas they’d like to see happen, but all agree school leaders are in a tough spot.

Wood said, “I think the leaders have done the best they can with the situation we have right now. It’s such a hard place to be.”

Spencer followed with, “I applaud our school leaders. tough spot. I hope they continue to work for children.”

Cox said, “That’s the only way we’re going to keep the staff, the kids, teachers safe, is all helping one another no matter what you choose to do with your child.”

Dr. Martin said, “We’re going ot be in this for awhile, at least until spring. We need to support the kids; It’s not going to be seamless.”

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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