SEATTLE -- Parents have mixed feelings just a day after Washington state announced that districts would be expected to welcome students back into classrooms this fall.
But because of health guidelines imposed on the districts, schools could still look very different from what it used to be like.
In a pandemic, parents are no longer just parents.
Mom Krystal Wellman Weinberg can be heard teaching her children Spanish every chance she gets. She and her husband Ian tries to fill in the gap as educators from home.
The days are so hard but Krystal doesn’t know how to feel about the state’s decision to let kids back into the classroom this fall.
“Our kids haven’t been to a park or a grocery store since March and we plan to keep that level of social distancing with our kids,” Weinberg said.
Over in Bothell, Lindsay Mosteller can relate.
“I’m super torn, my kid is super excited to go back to school he’s a very social creature,” Mosteller said.
The Mosteller family has too many reservations about going back and one of those concerns is that she has an infant at home and she worries her 10-year-old will bring the virus back home.
Similar to the Weinberg family, Mosteller says they are going to wait and see what happens with COVID-19 this summer.
In the meantime, Mosteller and her husband will be making some tough decisions.
If they choose not to send their 10-year-old back inside the classroom, one of them may have to leave their jobs.
“My husband saying should we talk about one of us staying home,” Mosteller said.
The mental gymnastics over what to do is exhausting.
“What is the right thing to do,” Mosteller said.
If you ask that question to Ken Meyer in Snohomish, there is no hesitation.
“If they have to go half the kids are online one day, half of them are in school, again it’s better than nothing,” Meyer said.
Meyer and his three teenagers can’t wait for schools to reopen even if it means a couple of days inside the classroom coupled with online learning.
“Honestly for my boys, the bigger issue is sports with football season coming up that’s definitely a big deal,” Meyer said.
Meyer says his family is waiting for any word on what schools will do about youth sports.
When Q13 News asked Meyer about the state's requirement asking all students to wear face masks inside schools, Meyer says his family doesn’t wear them now but he understands the requirement.
“If it meant them being able to go back to school, then yes, they would too,” Meyer said.
Three parents with a wide range of opinions.
“It’s really hard to make a decision that will work for everybody,” Weinberg said.
But Weinberg says it’s important that school districts bring parents to the table.
In Weinberg’s opinion Seattle Public Schools is working hard to survey parents.
“They got to offer something there are families who won’t be able to stay with their kids, there are families who need to stay with their kids,” Weinberg said.
Weinberg says she is a stay at home mom but understands many don’t have that option.
She hopes whatever is offered by SPS will take into account the various challenges many families are facing.
“If you guys can continue to offer options and opportunities to create equity,” Weinberg said.
Seattle Public Schools says they will announce their plan for reopening on June 19.
On Thursday, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction said school districts could welcome students back for face-to-face learning.
But that does not mean traditional learning as we know it.
OSPI has set health guidelines for districts to follow like physical distancing, health screenings at entry and a number of other measures.
If physical distancing cannot be met, OPSI offered up 3 models for districts to consider.
They include hybrid models of learning that allow kids to come to school in person combined with remote learning