Some Oldham County families sticking with at-home learning despite school board decision

Some Oldham Co. families sticking with at-home learning despite school board decision
On Monday, the Oldham County School Board voted for a rotation-based return to learning. However, some parents do not feel comfortable sending their children back to the classroom.
On Monday, the Oldham County School Board voted for a rotation-based return to learning. However, some parents do not feel comfortable sending their children back to the classroom. (Source: Courtesy: Kristin Worthen)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When school starts on Aug. 24 for Oldham County students, it will look very different from what they’re used to.

On Monday, the Oldham County School Board voted to approve a rotating, “A-B” return to learning for middle and high schools.

The “A” group will attend in-person classes Monday and Wednesday, while the “B” group will attend classes Tuesday and Thursday. The groups will alternate Fridays. This method attempts to limit the number of people students are exposed to on a daily basis.

However, some parents are still not comfortable sending their children back into the classroom.

“Everybody wants to do what’s best for their child,” mother Shannon Stocker said. “Everybody wants the ability to choose for their own child. I can say for my family and my children, the ‘A-B’ system won’t work, because it’s still putting kids at risk.”

Stocker and her sixth-grade daughter are considered high-risk for the coronavirus, forcing her to opt her family out of in-person learning.

“I give the board a lot of credit for doing the impossible right now,” Stocker said. “I think that they’re really wanting to do the best they can for the children, but I don’t see how putting kids in a classroom is servicing them well.”

Stocker told WAVE 3 News she will use the next three weeks to prepare her children for Oldham County’s Virtual Learning Academy, commonly referred to as VLA. She said she’s also researched home-schooling tactics to supplement her children’s virtual education.

“It’s a constant, very steep learning curve,” Stocker said.

Her friend, and fellow mother, Kristin Worthen is having trouble with the same curve. Her youngest child, a 2-year-old boy, is also considered high-risk. Therefore, she’s opted her second- and fourth-grade children out of in-person learning.

“It feels like a science experiment almost,” Worthen said. “Obviously, we have a unique perspective having a vulnerable family member, but it feels like, ‘Well, let’s just do it and see what happens.‘”

Their families’ unique circumstances will force these two mothers to once again play the role of teacher, as they did in the spring. It’s a role they know they have to play in order to balance their children’s education and their families’ health.

“It’s really hard, especially trying to work as well,” Worthen said. “But, like I said, our family doesn’t have a choice, so it really is just doing our best.”

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