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Chesterfield parents concerned about YMCA in-school 'Student Success Centers'

Posted at 8:45 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 11:43:54-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County parents are concerned about a YMCA program that allows parents to pay to drop their children off at school for help with virtual learning during the online school semester.

Chesterfield mom Kristin Rider agrees with the county's decision to start the new school year virtually.

"I trust from the experts that it's not safe," Rider said.

She has a daughter going into 5th grade, and another heading into 7th grade and works from home during the pandemic.

"I don't see a need to put our teachers at risk, or our kids," Rider said.

But news that Chesterfield will partner with the YMCA to offer something called Student Success Centers at various Chesterfield schools left her feeling confused.

"It just doesn't make sense to me that we're going to say the kids can't go but here they're going if you want to pay for it," Rider said.

According to the YMCA website, parents can drop their children off in the morning for virtual learning, and YMCA staff will ensure they are engaging with teachers, provide assistance as needed, and provide screen breaks.

A spokesperson from the YMCA said that cost details are still being ironed out.

"What are their motives behind this?" Rider asked.

Chesterfield County Deputy County Manager Matt Harris said that the program is not a finished product, and that the program would only be for one to two percent of students, and would only take on 1,000 kids.

He also said that the program would not be a money-making venture for the county and that they would not charge the YMCA rent.

Additional localities in Central Virginia will also be partnering with the YMCA to offer Student Success Centers, including Henrico and Richmond.