The Springfield Public Schools plan for returning to classes this fall is drawing condemnation among single parents in the district.
“SPS should have had some options before they rolled this out,” Janelle Reed, who works with single mother support organization SingleMomzRock, told OI. “Our culture is such that kids go to school and learn. Work culture is the same way. How can all the sudden they try to change that culture within a week period.”
The plan calls for students to receive virtual instruction all five days a week or three days a week of online classes and two days of in-person classes. Students whose last names start with A through K will go Monday and Tuesday; L through Z on Thursday and Friday.
“Even with the plan it specifically says that two of those off days are being done with limited teacher interaction,” Reed noted.
She said that the majority of the mothers in her program are concerned with the school’s plans and the very limited time given to parents to make up their mind on the two given choices.
“they are worried sick right now to have to make this kind of decision in one weeks time,” Reed said.
One mother within the SingleMomzRock program was very blunt in her criticism of the district.
“Ninety percent of parents that stated they wanted their kids in seated classes,” she told OI. “Why have a survey if you aren’t going to listen what [parents] have to say?”
“Parents are pissed,” she added. “I just want to know how they expect single parents or families with two working adults to do this.”
Other parents expressed their concerns that they will have to have their family’s income cut in half because one parent will have to leave a job to stay home with the children, or in the case of single parents, not be able to afford to support their families.
The district plans to keep the two day a week in-person class system in place through one quarter of the school yer, and then will determine if they do more in-person classes.
“I know they were never going to make everyone happy,” Reed said. “I get it. But I don’t see how they think this is the best option.”
The plan’s requirement of universal masking for staff and students, however, drew praise from the majority of parents.
Here is the SPS plan:SPS-Re-Entry-Plan-Guide-Fall-2020