SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Hundreds of people are reacting on social media Thursday to a decision by Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s (SCCPSS) school board to move away from hybrid learning models.
Starting this fall, five days of in-person learning are back.
From sighs of relief to concerns about sanitization, the decision effectively ends more than a year of hybrid learning.
“This is something we’ve waited for for so long,” said Angie Beck, a mother with a student at Savannah Arts Academy. She worried private and charter school students — who had already returned to in-person learning — would drastically outpace those in public schools.
Wednesday’s decision calms Beck’s worries. It also puts Alexia Williams at ease. She’s the mother of an elementary school girl.
Finding reliable, inexpensive child care and a way to pay for it was her main concern. A daughter who was learning at home stripped away some of her workable hours.
“It’s about time,” said Williams. “We’ve been gathering everywhere else for the last year, people are downtown hanging out at bars and at nail and hair salons. I don’t understand why the children couldn’t be in school full time.”
Virtual learning was also hard for Miki Miller’s kindergartener. She says virtual learning is to blame for his enrollment in summer school.
“I did all I could do, but as a single mom working and having to juggle virtual and hybrid and then virtual and then hybrid again, it’s been difficult,” she said.
For other parents, they say the transition to a virtual learning environment was a successful one. Emily Johnston, who already had a child in virtual learning, says it was beneficial for her young daughter.
“She’s happy virtual. She wants to remain virtual. She thinks she learns better virtually. She’s less distracted,” said Johnston.
SCCPSS says there are a limited number of spots for those who want to choose virtual learning. Johnston says her daughter will hopefully have one of them.
Latricia Brown says her kids are going back but says she will keep them off the buses. Her daughter expressed concern about COVID-19 transmission on that mode of transportation.
“As soon as I pick them up, okay [I say] let’s sanitize our hands. We come home, change clothes. For us, it’s still going to be operating almost like we did when the pandemic first hit,” said Brown.
And though the end of the pandemic is now in sight, SCCPSS says masks will still be required when the fall semester starts on Aug. 4.