Parents react to Pulaski County Public Schools temporarily switching to remote learning again


PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — After Pulaski County Public Schools announced that students will be switching back to virtual learning for the rest of the week, parents spoke with WFXR News about their reactions to the news.

Pulaski County school officials say they decided to switch to “asynchronous remote learning” for Thursday, Jan. 13 and Friday, Jan. 14 because the rapidly increasing COVID-19 case count at schools led to staffing shortages.

More specifically, as of Wednesday, Jan. 12, a total of 46 positive coronavirus cases have been reported at schools across the district this week.

Michael Barbour has a daughter who attends Riverlawn Elementary School. He says if cases continue to rise, some changes need to be made.

“I would hope they seriously consider that they at least have to [give us the] option for people to go fully virtual. If nothing else, that should help slow the spread in the community,” said Barbour.

Barbour adds that, as a single father, he noticed his daughter thrives in school when she is learning virtually.

“It helps her with some of her independence and carries over into just being able to carry out her classwork by herself. When she needs to, she emails her teacher and takes care of everything,” said Barbour.

He also recalls his daughter being able to make lunch for herself and taking care of responsibilities.

However, for many parents, this is not the case.

Pamela McCarty, another Pulaski County parent, says the sudden switch to virtual learning is difficult for her daughter Sadee.

“To me, the importance of an established school routine is something that cannot be adhered to easily without several days’ notice. When a sudden schedule change is required, kids can become confused, anxious, angry, and frustrated,” said McCarty. “I think that deciding on an asynchronous day with self-paced lessons is definitely easier for parents, especially on short notice.”

McCarty says Sadee struggles to sleep and gets confused about the change, adding that her daughter is the type of child that needs a solid, established routine.

Even with the switches to virtual learning, Barbour says that he respects the school system for trying to keep kids interacting with one another as much as possible.

Meanwhile, McCarty encourages parents who are struggling with this year to check in on your children to see if they are doing okay. She says the goal is to be proactive in your kids’ lives by asking questions, reaching out to them, and remembering that talking to other parents can get them through tough times.

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