Kent School District parents call for significant improvements in online learning

Just weeks away before the next school year starting, many school districts are still working to figure out their reopening model.

On Monday, Kent schools announced their decision to conduct only remote learning at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Jennifer Kassebaum is a mother of six, with her two youngest children still in school. She said schools need to significantly improve what they are offering online.

Her 15-year-old Logan is having a hard time processing the reality of not stepping foot into Kentridge High School in Kent any time soon.

“He sat at the kitchen table this morning, and he is 15, with his chin quivering, tears rolling down his face because he is not going to be able to go to school until at least October,” Kassebaum said.

Logan is developmentally disabled and needs special education. And the online learning provided by the Kent School District in the spring was disorganized, dismal and disappointing Kassebaum said. 

“I am disappointed in the system with all the technology we have, there wasn’t a better transition,” she said. “I am absolutely not disappointed in the teachers. Logan has a fabulous teacher.”

Kassembaum is frustrated over the district’s decision to only provide remote learning when the school year resumes. 

“I have friends who tried to cram a day’s worth of learning after work, before bed,” she said.

With remote learning now looking like the new normal for many families, she said schools will have to adjust to a better way to teach online, one that includes live instructions and individualized attention for students.

“The more platforms you introduce, the more apps, the more complicated. I’m fortunate I have the time to do that with Logan, to navigate things. Not everyone does,” she said. 

Kassebaum believes parents will be hit hard, especially with remote learning in place while juggling employers, homeschooling and childcare.

Q13 News has reached out to Kent School District for further information, but they were not available for comment.

The Office of Superintendant Public Instruction says schools who choose remote learning will still have to fulfill the 180 days of school and 1,027 average hours of instruction.