Frustration on the rise among Rochester Public Schools parents over school plans

Based on Governor Walz’s updated school guidance, Minnesota elementary schools can reopen on January 18 with certain safety measures in place, such as wearing masks and face shields and social distancing.

For Rochester Public Schools (RPS), the school board approved the district’s decision to transition PreK to 2nd grade from a distance learning model to a hybrid learning model (combining classroom time with at-home learning) starting January 19. Grades 3-5 will remain in distance learning only until February, where they will then transition to a hybrid learning model. No learning plan changes have been made for students in grades 6-12 who are currently in a distance learning-only model.

But frustration over the partial return to in-person learning is rising among RPS parents, who, as one parent shared, are concerned that the district isn’t doing “what’s right for the children in this town” and “ignoring the public’s concerns about the destruction distance learning is having on our children’s learning and mental health,” reports the Post Bulletin.

“We chose Rochester to settle down with our family partially due to the fantastic schools here,” Erin Jensen, a mother of three elementary students, said in a latter to the school board. “RPS should be leading the way with getting these kids back into school, not lurking in the shadows of other districts that value the importance and recognize the safety of in-person learning.”

“Even though my kids will make it through, that doesn’t mean that this is the right option for them,” [Adam and Laura] Kramers’ letter to the board said. “They wake up upset most days. Sitting them in front of a screen ALL DAY takes a major toll.”

For parents interested in learning more about all the education options available in Rochester, and why families are pursuing these options, join me virtually on January 21 from 12pm-1pm. You can sign up here or by clicking on the picture below.