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Wednesday, parents share their concerns about kids going back to school in the fall. A plan for schools to tackle the coronaviurs is being developed by a task force initiated by the Alabama State Department of Education. The task force is separated into several committees that will present their recommendations to the state superintendent at the end of April.
Many North Alabama parents WAAY31 spoke with said their biggest fears are the unknown. One parent said what if they send their grade school children physically back to school only to have their semester disrupted with another outbreak, or could distance learning be an option for families in the fall, if they don't feel comfortable sending their kids back to school directly.
Parent Melissa Jacobs also owns a businesses in Florence named, Bare Beauty. Her kids are six and eight. Right now, her husbands job is essential so he's still working full time. She's also working to keep her businesses profitable during the pandemic, on top of having her kids at home and helping them with their schooling. Jacobs said their extended family members live out of state.
"We don't have any additional help. We have had to hire sitters and that sort of thing to help take care of the boys. My first instinct is to say oh my gosh they have to go back," said Jacobs. "I'm not as good at teaching them at home and they are going to get a better education honestly if they are on a better schedule and going to school."
Jacobs said she does have some fears of sending her kids back to school in the fall because of the coronavirus, but she doesn't have another option.
"It creates a lot of anxiety and it almost feels impossible because you feel like you aren't doing anything well because you have so many balls in the air," said Jacobs.
Parent, Katie Terry, who has elementary and pre-k aged kids said if she had the option of continuing the distance learning in the fall for her kids she'd do that.
"If there is a possibility espically with young ones being asymptomatic and sending them to school and getting the teacher sick I just wouldn't want to put them at risk so I think we really need more measures of prevention and treatment and have those questions answered by our medical community before we send people out and try to get life back to normal," said Terry.
Both moms agree the tricky part educators are tasked with is coming up with solutions that work for each family. Terry said while were all in the same storm were all in different boats.
"You want them to continue with their academics and you don't want them to fall behind so it gives you like I said it kind of creates some anxiety to make sure your kids stay on track, but then I also have to think I'm not the only one feeling this way," said Jacobs.
These recommendations the education task force is gathering are expected to be wrapped up by the end of April and has the input of superintendents across the state because each school district has a different set of challenges. There is no date for an official plan to be released yet.