Roanoke county parents express concerns over hybrid learning

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 3:58 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Life at the Harrop household can look a little upside down at times.

With four kids ages 11, 10, 8 and 5, hybrid learning has taken over the family room. Lesley’s children are all in elementary school.

“So that’s definitely a challenge, even the ones that are close in age; they’re different levels for reading and math, different challenges so it’s a lot of individualized teaching, help on problems and homework, things like that," said Lesley Harrop.

Harrop is a single mom, and works a full-time job. She can do it from home, but it’s a lot to juggle.

Especially with her oldest son.

“I see my older kids really suffering, not being able to socialize with their peers regularly. My oldest son has autism, and that’s a social deficit, so that social time is so important to him, and he’s not getting that," said Harrop.

Winnie, age 5, gets to go to school in person every day at Backcreek Elementary per Roanoke County’s guidelines. Lesley says she hasn’t seen any issues so far with having school five days per week and says safety is observed.

She isn’t the only parent who wants to see a change.

One Facebook group has more than 700 members. Most of the members are parents, and they want to see RCPS go back to solely in-person learning.

“I mean we really are trying to do it all, and it’s just really hard," said Harrop.

Superintendent Dr. Nicely recognizes how hard it is.

He sent a letter to parents Monday night, saying once physical distancing restrictions are lifted, the district looks forward to having students back full-time.

Many parents in the Facebook group plan to reiterate their desire to ditch hybrid, though, at this Thursday’s school board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

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