Parents wrestle with COVID guidelines for new school year

Education

Back to School Photos 2021-22

ROTTERDAM, N.Y, (NEWS10) — Parents and educators are wrestling with what’s best for students as they head back to full in-person learning.

Superintendents across the region have been faced with opposing views and highly contentious school board meetings.

Some parents have discussed their disapproval that students have to wear masks. Others parents like Jessica Nealon want their kids in virtual-only learning.

“If we still have to have the kids wear masks then we need to understand that a virtual option is an additional mitigation circumstance,” Nealon said.

With COVID cases on the rise, Mohonasen Superintendent Shannon Shine said he’s doing what he can to create the safest environment for his students.  

“I know how difficult it was for many of our students and families to either be in a hybrid situation or completely remote,” Shine said.  

Last year, the school district saw a steep rise in students having to take summer school classes after falling behind because of virtual learning. That’s something Shine wants to avoid this year.  

“You can’t please everybody all the time. I don’t think that’s even a reasonable thing to shoot for. You shoot for what is best for children,” Shine said.

While parents have expressed their displeasure with masks, Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a mask mandate for schools.

For parents unhappy about the limited virtual option at the school district, about 20 students are taking advantage of a BOCES option which will give students the virtual learning experience, though some parents feel more needs to be added to the curriculum.

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