Weekly question: How do you think Portage County schools should offer classes this year?
Each week we ask Portage County residents a question and share your answers. Here’s what you said.
Last week we asked: How do you think Portage County school districts and universities should offer classes this academic year?
Out of 85 answers to the poll question, a majority were more comfortable online options. Forty-eight percent said classes should be mostly online with some in-person classes depending on the risk level. Another 25 percent said classes should be totally online.
Fifteen percent said classes should be mostly in person with some online depending on the risk level, and 5 percent said classes should be totally in person.
We followed up with an open-ended question: What are your thoughts on schooling during Covid? Readers could choose whether to provide answers on the record or not. Here are the answers from those who gave us permission to share:
I like having options for both in person and online. I wish there were more community support for parents who aren’t fortunate enough to have a choice, who have to send kids to school, but don’t want to. I wish there were more options for teachers as well. I think many parents and teachers don’t have the option to make the choice they want to make for their families. I don’t know that there is a right answer. It is a tough choice for many people, who want their kids to have interaction but fear for their health, or who want their kids to have a normal year but can’t because of the virus.
Anna, 38, Kent
Not all kids do well in a virtual environment. Socialization, depression, anxiety, routine, someone other than a parent, and IEP [individualized education plan] adherence are real obstacles that many of us are dealing with having to be out of schools. Many students have regressed in their grades and overall learning of material. Online public school is great for some but not all. Having experienced both online school as well as brick and mortar schooling pre-Covid most school districts are just going through the motions and really have no idea what they are doing. I know schools are trying but I really think it is time to be back in more than out at this point if we really want kids to learn.
Tia Sellers, 41, Ravenna
I think that we have to be very very careful with our children and our teachers. So I feel that mostly online with occasional days in the school, mainly to have the children interact with each other in a very safe manner.
Chuck Lanning, 76, Kent
If everyone followed protocol for three weeks we would be over this but you will never get everyone to do what they are asked to do to get us out of this pandemic.
Ferrell, 67, Garrettsville
Praying for good behavior by the students, and as few outbreaks as possible.
Elizabeth Stapleton, 46, Kent
Sending our kids back to school is too dangerous.
Sara Ashley-Cook, 46, Brimfield
Different communities have different abilities and different needs, both financial and levels of risk. It has to be left to each local community to come up with a plan that works best for that particular community. Each community should also offer a variety of options and the final decision for each family should be the parents’. After a family makes their decision it is the right decision for them. Others should support them regardless if it is a different decision than they had chosen.
Margaret Ann Clapp, 66, Shalersville
Children still need schooling and social interaction to become productive members of society, the pandemic is not going to stop their need to learn and be responsible. If they do not got to school then we will have bigger problems years down the road when we have unproductive adults who cannot comprehend or complete basic life skills.
Greg Bailey, 49, Brimfield
My daughter is an attorney. I was present at a conversation she had with a high school teacher. Here’s how it went:
Daughter — “At the start of the pandemic I was writing wills for first responders. Now I’m writing them for teachers.”
Teacher — “Teachers are writing their obituaries.”
I think that sums it up, Portager.
Iris Meltzer , 71, Kent
We must protect our young people! We cannot use them as test subjects to see if predictions about the spread of the virus and their susceptibility too the virus are correct.
Rita Tolcin, 71, Streetsboro
It is a tough call. Parents who work and depend on the schools instead of daycare “need” the schools to be open for business. But we are headed for Rona3 in a few weeks and that isn’t going to be any easier for parents to handle. Sad situation.
Diana Ryman, 67, Ravenna
People should stay home until the pandemic subsides considerably or there is a vaccine.
Bev Jones, 65, Tallmadge
I think the first priority should be in bringing down the number of Covid cases.
Bob Heath, 78, Mantua
The protection of staff and students should be the forefront of the decision. Already schools and universities that have opened are seeing cases of Covid-19 so this says to me that it is not time to expose anyone. Online learning is definitely not optimum, but until everyone’s safety can be guaranteed, that is the way to go. Only in extreme situations should in-person learning be conducted, i.e. science labs.
Char Clamp, 69, Brimfield
The University is really pushing the Flashes Save Seven mantra. However, the students in off-campus housing/apartments concern me. We can try to control students while on the campus, but what they do off-campus is up to them. They have the power, through their actions, to keep things as they are or cause the university to go into a complete lockdown.
Lisa Froning, 53, Kent
Whether warranted or not, there is a lot of fear out there as a result of Covid. Children do not learn well in an environment of fear. Since the fear is ever growing, it is time to end in-person learning in large public school buildings. These should be replaced with small buildings within walking distance of the students.
Since online learning can be totally automated and individualized with today’s technology, teachers would no longer be required to face the risks of classrooms filled with children. They would be free to seek employment in safer environments.
Brian Ames, 68, Randolph
It is hard for children to understand the how and why of wearing masks. Like a joke that was emailed to me, I am sure kids will trade masks and hug and share food. My only worry about most classes being given on line, is for the families who can not afford computers and cable connections.
Claudia Green, 71, Ravenna