By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
For parents of kids in school, finding out that their students won’t be going back to school for the rest of the year was tough news to receive.
“This has just been very heavy all the way around to navigate,” mom Katie Anderson said.
School days look much different these days.
“I have three calls,” sixth-grader Lily Anderson said.
“Kiddos are out of bed pretty late in the morning,” said mom Janet Llerandi. “And when they get up we log on and see what lessons are up during the day.”
Schools like Elk Meadow Elementary School in Bend have worked to ensure students have paper packets and iPads to continue virtual education at home.
“With our efforts of making lots of phone calls, and doing lots of check-in, and ‘How can we support you to get this into your hands?’, out of our approximately 550 students we were down to one student who we weren’t able to get those materials into their hands,” Elk Meadow Principal Kelle Hildebrandt said.
And now, those materials are going to be more important than ever.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday Oregon schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
Parents and students say they expected the announcement, but the news is still difficult to hear.
“A six hour learning schedule from home is just overwhelming,” Llerandi said.
“As parents we’re still having to dedicate time to work through it with them, teach them what maybe they didn’t absorb” said Anderson. “It’s a lot.”
Hildebrandt says that, while there are likely to be learning drops next year with students out of school, educators will be ready to get them back on track.
“We’re going to meet them where they are,” said Hildebrandt. “Teachers are really good at that, we assess, we find out where kids are, what are their needs and we’re going to meet the challenge when that time comes.”
Hildebrandt added that parents should give themselves some grace, and just do your best during this difficult time.