COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — As parents navigate virtual learning, a working mother in the Northwest Local School District says too much of her daughter’s education has become her responsibility and not a teacher’s.
“I feel like I’m not able to give my child what she deserves and needs,” said Megen Simon, who has two children in the district and says she is hard-pressed for time.
“It’s very difficult. I work 8 to 5, 8 to 6 sometimes,” said Simon.
Simon works at home but finds herself spending five or six more hours each day walking her daughter Armisha through assignments and projects in the first-grade remote learning program for Struble Elementary.
“I have to assist her in choosing the correct one and either read the instruction or explain to her how to do the assignment,” Simon said.
“It’s kind of you either provide a roof and food and the basic necessities they need or you give them the education they also need.”
Northwest says the remote learning academy, especially at an elementary level, relies on a partnership with parents to help children complete and understand assignments.
“We recognize and respect that that’s a difficult balance, especially for working families,” said Brenda Miller, Director of Curriculum for the district. “We are doing as much as we can to be able to provide support.”
But the district should have a better plan, said Simon.
“They had from roughly the middle of May until recently to come up with a plan. I feel like this is maybe just one step above the plan we had in March,” said Simon.
It's a difficult situation for students, parents and teachers, but the district points out that this is only Day 5 of the new school year and it expects this new normal will be easier for everyone as the year goes along.
“As our students become more familiar with the resource that we have purchased for remote learning, the amount of support they will need will decrease,” Miller said.