WATCH: Some parents considering homeschooling for first time, Wisconsin DPI responds

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

WISCONSIN. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has released its recommendations for a safe return to in-person classes in schools this fall and it has left a few parents concerned.

Tiffany Gaura, a mother of three, shared her thoughts about her children going back to school in the fall, with Local 5.

Guara says making the transition from the classroom to schooling at home during her child’s first school year was a learning curve for everyone in the household. It was all about finding the right balance in their home, while still maintaining their routine in the morning that helped with the adjustment.

“It was heartbreaking,” says Gaura, when she had to tell her child that he wasn’t going back to school for the rest of the school year and that he couldn’t see his friends.

Now many parents are wondering if it’s safe to send their kids back to school in the fall.

Samantha Fox of Fond du Lac has a first grader and she tells Local 5 that she’s not entirely sure how to feel about sending him back to school.

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“I want him to go back so the normality of life can return but I’m apprehensive because the virus didn’t just disappear. I’m not sure I could handle working from home and home schooling but I’ll do what I have to in order to have him schooled whatever that would take,” Fox says.

Gaura says she feels more comfortable with her child at home because it could become a big distraction in their learning if they’re wearing masks and social distancing at school. Homeschooling has been an option that she and her husband have been thinking about come fall, but she recognizes that not all people have that luxury.

“I think it’s going to come down to what they actually decide and then making the best decision for our family and what we feel is the best option,” Gaura says.

“I think it should be up to each family if they choose to send their kids back or not,” Fox explains. “If some parents are very worried about the virus, then they should be able to keep their kids home. It’s such an unusual time but the safety of the children and their education is extremely important. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary by the state and the schools.”

Mike Thompson, Deputy State Superintendent with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, addressed a few of the parent’s concerns in a conversation with Local 5.

Every recommendation that was released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction was made after conversations with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, local public health agencies, and educational organizations from across the state.

Thompson recognizes the concern that parents may have sending their kids back to school in the fall and explains that constant communication between parents, students, teachers, and the schools are key factors to having a successful return.

“When kids go into the school’s environment, parents want to know that their kids are safe. They wanted to know that prior to COVID and now with COVID, they need to know what precautions districts are taking to make sure their kids are as safe as possible,” Thompson says.

Thompson tells Local 5 that it’s very likely that school districts will have different opportunities for parents who don’t feel safe, even with all of the given protocols and precaution in place, sending their kids back to school.

Every school district will have their own set of rules in place to make sure safety is the number one priority come fall.

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