Oregon parents and students rally against remote learning

The school board voted to begin the school year online only
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 9:49 PM EDT
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OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - Parents in the Oregon school district are pushing for change. Monday night dozens of parents and students within the Oregon City School District rallied together outside of Clay High School asking the school board to reconsider the restart plan.

On August 6, the OCS Board of Education voted to start the school year virtually after a recommendation from the Toledo Lucas County Health Department due to the current number of COVID-19 cases. But some families argue remote learning is not working for their children.

“Both of my kids are extroverts and I believe being part of a society and being in school is one of the best ways you can educate-especially if you have children who enjoy others,” says parent Angela Nowak.

Angela Nowak works in a hospital. She has two girls and believes they do better attending classes in person. Nowak and her husband both work full time and she says that having the children home all day while trying to learn remotely isn’t the best case scenario.

“There is a lot of stuff they are doing and I don’t understand it enough to educate them,” says Nowak.

Brent Shimman was one of the organizers of the protest. He is a father of four and this fall his daughter starts Kindergarten.

“The thought of my kindergartner learning over a screen just doesn’t seem feasible. You can’t get her to sit still for dinner let alone a full day of school,” says Shimman.

He wants the school board to reconsider the restart plan and is asking them to send a survey to all of the parents and teachers to gauge how they feel about returning to the classroom.

“If the teachers are comfortable to go back in and the parents want to go back in we feel like we should find a way in a hybrid or all 5 days ,” says Shimman.

The OCS Board of Education voted to keep learning outside of the school buildings until October 15th. At that time, a decision will be made on the next steps. Oregon City Schools Superintendent also released a statement to 13abc saying he supports the right to peacefully protest, share opinions and provide opposing views.

“I have engaged many people in the community over the past several months and heard opinions of all kinds. I consider several of the protest organizers to be overall supports of OCS and have strong feelings regarding how and when students should return to school. The OCS remote learning plan currently in place takes into account recommendations from out local health department and a vote by our OCS Board of Education. Working with the board of education, we will continue to monitor state and local conditions, adjusting and adapting our student learning plan accordingly.”

-Hal Gregory, Superintendent, Oregon City Schools

Barring another change from the school board, remote learning for OCS begins on Monday, August 24, 2020.

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