Topeka mom shares why her daughters prefer to go back to school in-person

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Local parents are reacting to the new guidelines set out for Kansas schools to reopen.

Topeka mom Cheryl Middleton has three girls in school in the Topeka School District and they’re all anxious to get to go back to in-person learning.

This year it’s not just the usuals on the back to school list and the choices are harder than just yellow or blue folders.

“I want my kids in school,” Middleton said.

Governor Kelly announced on Wednesday Kansas schools can’t open until Labor Day.

Middleton said for all of her girls that day can’t come soon enough.

“It needs to be in the classrooms. My kids need that teacher that will stand there, especially in math, that will tell them ‘This is how you do the problems. This is how the operations go,'” Middleton said.

For her daughter, 6th grader Amaya Villanueva, struggling through a spring semester of online classes was enough.  

“The online school, I wasn’t very good at it at all,” Amaya Villanueva said.

Learning is important to her because she wants to be a teacher.

For her older sister Kayda Villanueva, starting freshman year with the virus spreading poses a risk.

“I have asthma and I’ve been hospitalized for that in the past,” Kayda Villanueva said.

But, Kayda said that risk is worth it for her.

“If I do not go to school and I have to do online, which is pretty much homeschool, I’m not going to be motivated to do it,” Kayda Villanueva said.

As a single mother working full time, Middleton said in-person class is the only plan that works for her family.

“Think about the families that are involved. There’s a lot of families like mine where they can’t stay home and homeschool their kids,” Middleton said.

“No matter what’s going on with the coronavirus stuff, I feel like we should all still have a chance to learn,” Amaya Villanueva said.

Middleton said it isn’t just about what her daughters are missing in the classroom. Two of them play sports at school and they really hope to be able to get back to doing that soon too.

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