Richmond parents prepare for 'massive challenge' of virtual learning

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 18:54:42-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- One day after Richmond School Board members voted for an all virtual first semester, parents are preparing for the challenges that lay ahead.

The board decided in an 8-1 vote that the risk for in-person classes greatly outnumbered the benefits.

RPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Kamras said the school board` vote was a challenging decision for everyone involved.

Theresa Kennedy, whose kids attend Holton Elementary, has been deeply concerned about how the school reopening plan would play out.

"I'm not thrilled about the idea of all virtual but, also I think it's the only kind of reasonable answer. It's like the least awful of a sea of awful answers we have right now," said Kennedy.

"You can see how hard the decision was, but at the end of the day, you have to think about the safety of kids and teachers," added Timika Vincent.

Vincent and Sabrina Gross both have children in Richmond Public Schools and they both serve as elementary school PTA presidents at John B. Cary and Barack Obama, respectively.

Gross says she had already made up her mind to allow her son to do virtual learning before Tuesday night's vote.

"It was a very sad decision that needed to be made," said Gross. "I appreciate the respect that the superintendent and board members showed for having to be put in that position."

While Gross understands why the board voted for all virtual learning, it doesn't diminish her concern for families with full-time working parents

"I think about the other parents who don't have the ability to work from home and are going to need some guidance in this situation," said Gross.

Each mom says there's no way to satisfy everyone in this unprecedented time, but they agree it's going to take a concerted effort to have success with virtual learning.

"The reality is all the parents who have the ability, need to get together and support one another and help each other through this because it's going to be a massive challenge," said Kennedy

A decision will be made later on how RPS will proceed for the second semester of the school year. Board members also discussed the possibility of year-round school.

The next RPS meeting is set for Monday, July 20 at 6 p.m.



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