Parents at USD 437 share passionate opinions with school board

Local News

AUBURN, Kan. (KSNT) – The Auburn-Washburn School District is headed into the fifth week of hybrid learning, but some parents want normal learning again. These concerns were voiced Monday night.

The USD 437 school board moved their meeting to the high school, where they could fit up to 250 parents in the gym to give their thoughts and feedback. Only around 75 family members attended. 

Superintendent Scott McWilliams said he hears three major concerns from parents, like whether it’s safe to have more kids in school than they already do. He also says parents say it’s challenging for some kids to learn remotely on the days at home, plus there is added pressure on parents to be teachers. 

Each parent had 3 minutes to speak.

The meeting first opened up to questions for the Shawnee County Health Department via Zoom. 

“Our daughter she’s a first grader and she’s supposed to be learning how to write,” parent David Drimmel said. “But she’s trying to figure out how to use a mouse on the computer, and it’s just not working. Her hands not big enough double click the mouse.” 

Some of the issues that the parents urging the school board to go back to school mentioned included trying to teach kids who don’t yet know how to write to type their assignments, using a computer mouse to draw, rural internet connection and trying to make up 6 hours of learning on their own time. 

Of the dozens that chose to speak, just one parent spoke to personally being affected by coronavirus, and asked for kids to stay at home.

“I’m sorry we need to put aside what’s going on and saying ‘my kid needs to be in school’. What about other folks?,” parent Shelby Ross said. “What about the people that your kids are around? I’ve got a 95-year-old grandmother that I’m worried about, when my kids want to come home and hug her and do all those kinds of things, what, am I going to kill her?”

One teacher also spoke to the safety and health risks of the employees if they were to go back to school five days a week, while another spoke to also wanting to go back to class.

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