(Update: Adding video, comments from parents)
Distance learning is 'a lot less work' than last year, one parent says
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Another unusual academic year kicked off with families balancing work and helping their children navigate Bend-La Pine Schools’ comprehensive distance learning plan.
One parent, who asked us not to use her name, told NewsChannel 21 Thursday that the first week of online learning seems like a lot less work compared to last spring, when Bend-La Pine first implemented a hybrid, online-learning plan last spring due to COVID-19.
Sharon Sbarra, another Bend parent, agrees.
“It’s definitely been a soft start to the school year, where there’s not too much to do,” Sbarra said.
She said she and her husband are still juggling operating their business, Volcano Veggies, with helping their son, who just began the second grade.
Sbarra said she and her son struggled more with the hybrid, online-learning model last spring.
“We were very busy with work and really didn’t have the time and energy to sit down with our son and help him with schoolwork over the computer,” Sbarra said. “We knew that needed to change.”
She said she has more patience going into the fall semester.
“It’s very challenging, and I have to answer phone calls while I’m in the middle of teaching my son a lesson,” she said. “I feel I’m constantly multi-tasking, so it’s definitely not ideal for anybody.”
Bend-La Pine Schools plan to bring back kindergarten through third grade for a balanced/hybrid model on Monday, October 5, if current COVID-19 metrics hold.
The model allows students to continue learning from home three days a week, with two days in classrooms for in-person teaching.
But until students can return to classrooms, some parents have had to print their own materials while waiting for schools to send physical workbooks.
Some also are still waiting to receive iPads being offered by the school district.
Sbarra said she wants her son to return to in-person learning, for the social benefits. But she also said she appreciates how hard teachers and the school district are working to keep children’s education a priority.