RPS 205 families had a difficult choice to make this week; they had to choose whether their students will be going back to the classroom or doing full-time remote learning this Fall.

Although Rockford Public Schools leaders are still contacting families who haven't yet submitted their survey responses, preliminary results show the choice is pretty evenly split.

The Rockford Register Star reports;

Based on preliminary results from a district wide survey asking Rockford Public Schools parents to chose between in-person and remote learning for their children this fall, Rockford Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said the district is “seeing very equal responses for a desire for in-person as well as remote learning” and “strong support for both options.”

As a parent who chose the in-person option as the best fit for my child, hearing these results puts me a little more at ease with what the future school year may be like. Why? Because fifty percent less students might mean less kids will be in each classroom, which correlates into less germs and less headaches for teachers trying to manage all these social distancing protocols.

I know what you're thinking; if I'm so worried about germs and my kid following social distancing guidelines at school why am I sending her back? Because I'm more worried about the impact of continued isolation on her mental health and educational development.

So, what's next for Rockford Public Schools? Heidi Dettman, the district’s executive director of academics, recently told the RRStar;

Our challenge right now is to really take a look at that survey data, which has been really powerful, and make sure that we’re prepared for the volume of remote learners

Rockford Public Schools released an update this morning saying;

Based on our preliminary responses and data, we plan to do everything we can to limit in-person class sizes and assign 20 students or fewer to each classroom at all grade levels.

The update also says that 100 full-time remote-learning teaching jobs are available to elementary staff, and that they will also be adding a half-day all-remote learning option for all Early Childhood students.

Maybe I am being a tad too pessimistic here, but if you're a family preparing for in-person learning, it may be wise to think about  how you would pull off full remote learning as well, just in case.

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