SCHOOLS: The community provides thoughts on schooling during the pandemic

The Enterprise collected a sample of comments from locals who responded to its school survey. (Enterprise/File)

Nearly 300 people responded to the online survey conducted by the Malheur Enterprise regarding education, kids and local schools.

Respondents were invited to leave a comment as they finished the survey. Here is a sampling of their remarks:

On learning at home:

•Distance learning is setting our children behind and will make it difficult for them to ever be able to catch up.

•Online schooling is NOT working!! Let them back in the classrooms! They are emotional, confused, behind in ability now.

•I HATE how she is forced to do online learning. She doesn’t learn anything from this.

•Having a kindergartener on a computer all day is in no way developmentally appropriate.

•Keeping kids and families healthy should be our main focus along with good quality teaching through distance learning. Having only 2 hours of teaching instruction through zoom meetings us not enough.

•During the spring distance learning my student had no support from her teacher. It was total chaos

•I think that the county is correct in starting with distance learning for now. If my children had to start in the classroom now, I would opt for homeschooling. I am not comfortable with the current state of things and I don’t feel that the teachers and their families or ours should be put in a risky situation.

•It would be nice if parents would be trained on what “distance learning” looks like, and how to use technology.

On kids’ wellbeing:

•Our kids are struggling with depression due to lack of socializing.

•The kids NEED to go back to school. It is weighing on their mental health.

•The immune system of these children is at risk due to not being around other children plus their losing out on many opportunities due to not being in school. Our schools need to get back to normal with cautionary procedures in place in the classroom. Children cannot go on like this any longer it all needs to come to an end.

•I believe the damage we are doing to our children by not allowing them back into the classrooms far outweighs the coronavirus.

•Our children’s mental health is suffering tremendously, and I’m thankful that I have the resources to help my son through this craziness. I know there are other children who aren’t as lucky and count on school employees and medical workers to report any abuse that may be going on in their homes. if this social isolation continues, we will be dealing with the mental health consequences for far longer than any pandemic.

On academic progress:

•As a parent of a struggling child, they will be lucky to graduate. Requirements don’t change for graduation but the deficits in quality education for ALL students is needed and not being received.

•My kids need to get back to the classroom so they don’t fall further behind.

•The spring schooling was too much for my youngest and not enough for my middle and too confusing for my oldest.

On school staff:

•I appreciate all the hard work the teachers are doing in order to best support my child. I know this is not an easy time for them and this comprehensive distance learning is challenging!

•So much respect for the teachers. They do care.

•I know of the work teachers and administrators are putting in for our students. It is not the schools’ choice to keep kids out. Everyone wishes to be back.

•Our teachers in Nyssa are awesome and they are doing the best they can and I appreciate them and their hard work.

•Schools are trying very hard to make this year start out as best as it can be. I appreciate the teachers and staff working so very hard for my children. 

On returning to schools:

•I’m a single parent so quitting my job to help them is not an option. So, you guys have set up kids now for failure in school. For the sake of the children open school.

•My children will not be going back in school at all. One is full online and the other will go if the school’s try to open too soon.

•I’m looking for a home schooling program that works around my work hours & offers more options.

•Having to keep kids home is damaging to not only the kids education and social interaction.

•This is also stressful on parents. I personally don’t know how soon it will be before my children will fall even further behind and I will be forced to lose everything. How can we be forced to homeschool and maintain our income? This is so wrong.

•I think kids need to go back to school to get the best education possible and for their mental and social health.

•Kids need to be in school in person learning so I hope they can please get back into the building ASAP, even if it could be some in person and some at home distance learning because not being around their friends other peers and teachers is not healthy for long term

•Some kids need the one-on-one contact with a teacher and need the schedule. Some parents have to work to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. Depending on others such as a relative or friend or even sitter doesn’t necessarily mean they can be on the computer all day especially for those parents who don’t like kids have a ton of screen time. •Being in a classroom setting with other kids their age helps developmental skills they need for their future.

•Students are not the only consideration. We must remember teachers, staff, and their families. We must think about the students being raised in multigenerational households where grandparents will be endangered. I think of those families where grandparents are the last stop on the way to foster care.

•We need to get the kids back to school. We can be safe and still get them engaged. What we have done to our youth and too our elderly is criminal.

•Get these poor kids back in school. They need their friends and the social interaction of school in person.