Across New York City, students attending public schools faced a major deadline Sunday when it came to deciding whether or not to participate in blended learning.
It’s a decision that will ultimately decide whether some students will ever step foot in a classroom this academic year.
“Its not worth the risk! For her health, for my family's health,” says Samantha Parciak of Greenpoint.
Parciak had no issue letting the Sunday deadline come and go when it came to enrolling her daughter in blended learning. As a result, 7-year-old Jocelyn will be committed to remote learning for the entire school year. That’s something the second grader doesn’t want.
When asked if she liked being home for school, Jocelyn said no. “I want to see my friends!” she said.
Due to the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate barely staying under the 3% threshold, public schools across the city will be open on Monday. However, a switch to fully remote learning could happen soon, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
All of this uncertainty has moms like Angela Gonzalez of Williamsburg finding it unfair that the city will not be giving parents another chance to reevaluate whether to opt in for blended learning.
"I was thinking I would might send my kids back for the spring,” says Gonzalez, “after the holiday season, after the cold and flu season. I'm lucky right now. I'm home, but I do go back to the work in February. So, I was hoping to have that February 1 option of sending my kids, if i needed to."
Heather Stone of Williamsburg and her 9-year-old son Jack say while blended learning may not be for everyone, having the opportunity to socialize with classmates makes it worthwhile.
“I’ve loved it,” said Stone. “I think they are doing an amazing job keeping the kids safe!”
“I think school in person, I like it more, but I feel like I am more safe at home,” said her son, Jack.
Students that signed up for blended learning have the option to switch to a fully remote model at any time.