WCSD families prepare for distance learning

Parents are exploring child care options ahead of WCSD secondary schools moving to distance learning on Wednesday
Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 11:41 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - After this holiday weekend, it’s back to school for students in the Washoe County School District. Right now, parents of middle and high school students are having to figure out what to do what to do with their kids when secondary schools move to distance learning next week. While it is a temporary move, it’s one that has families adjusting their schedules and exploring options.

Child care centers like the Kings Row Community Life Center in northwest Reno are expecting to get a lot more phone calls from families inquiring about a place to send their kids. They have already been working with elementary and middle school students on distance learning since the school year started and say they are ready for more.

”We know what we’re doing now, now that we’ve got our feet wet a little bit, so we are ready to go,” said Stacy McLin, Director of the Kings Row Community Life Center.

The facility has set up plastic dividers between work stations, moved desks several feet apart, and is equipped with dozens of devices and computers that students would need to work remotely.

“For middle school students, we know they’re struggling the most,” said McLin, a former Clayton Middle School teacher who worked for the district for more than 15 years. “So this is going to be an opportunity for parents to have them in a safe, fun environment where we can get them on their Zooms, we can make sure they stay on task. We want to make sure they’re not falling through the cracks.”

WCSD leaders are hoping the transition to distance learning will be as smooth as possible for students. Board members recently opened up about the decision they made last Tuesday, saying it was a tough one. But that their goal is to keep as many students in school the safest way they can while dealing with a lack of school support resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

”I am very pleased with the decision to keep our elementary students in-person and I think knowing that that shift to distance learning for middle and high school students will be a challenge for many families and students, but we hope to keep it as brief as possible and hope to get them back in.” said Board President Malena Raymond.

Secondary students are scheduled to begin distance learning on Wednesday, Dec. 2 with students tentatively scheduled to return to the in-person hybrid learning model on Monday, January 4. Trustees will make a final decision regarding the return date at their next meeting, December 8. Secondary students are expected to attend school on their regular hybrid days next Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1 in order to prepare for the move to full distance learning. Elementary school students are not affected by this plan.

In the meantime, McLin and her staff are preparing to take in even more students starting next week.

“We’re thinking, okay we need to be there for the parents. We need to get the word out there so they’re not stressing out and let them know that we’re here for them,” says McLin.

The Kings Row Community Life Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm. For more information, call (775) 235-8430.

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