APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) As schools unveil their plans to reopen, some local parents now find themselves grappling with their jobs and school schedules.
“I want to be home with my son for the three days he’s not going to be home but I work full-time and my husband works full time so we’re kind of in a predicament.” Shannon Koplitz is the mother of a 6th grader in the Appleton Area School District (AASD).
Since her son is in the 6th grade, he will have a mix of in-person learning two days and three days of virtual learning.
Shannon says she’s added frustration to her school shopping list because balancing work and childcare will be tough this year. “They don’t seem to understand the predicament that working parents are in and so that’s kind of frustrating for a lot of us.”
The AASD’s Safe and Resilient Return Plan offers in-person classes five days a week for kids up to fourth grade; a mix virtual and in-person learning for grades 5 through 12; and completely virtual for all grades.
AASD Superintendent Judy Baseman says, “We’re just were not able to provide that fully in-person learning in a safe manner up to grade 6. Our elementary schools are already overcrowded. We’re using every nook and cranny so for us to be able to do the distancing and get those numbers down we had to look at other options for our older students.”
Some employers can’t parallel their work schedules with Appleton Area School District’s schedule, leaving parents with tough choices.
Shannon says, “You want to keep a roof over your head, you have to pick your job, and then your kids are being left home alone, so its kind of a scary thing for a lot of parents I think.”
Baseman adds, “The district is looking to see how our Boys and Girls Club or YMCA care providers could assist us in providing a safe environment for families who might need access to help with supervision and childcare. Those plans are moving right along and we fully expect that will be an
option for families who need it.
Baseman also adds, “If families want to change from fully virtual to hybrid in-person it could be done but the District may not be able to accommodate all requests.”