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When will schools return to full-time, in-person learning model? Parents hope soon

When will schools return to full-time in-person learning? That question is on the minds of a lot of parents, teachers, and community members across New York State, as COVID-19 numbers begin to decline again.

“It’s time to get students back into classrooms full-time,” one frustrated parent told on Thursday. “Even the districts that are running part-time in-person learning schedules need to adjust – enough is enough.” That frustration has been evident on social media, where parents and community members have taken their concerns to others. That concerned parent who spoke with us did not want to be identified in this story, but noted that it’s important that people hear that perspective.

Andy Pallotta, president of the New York State United Teacher’s Union said there’s a lot of work to do before school districts are ready to fully-reopen. “We have a lot of issues with what has been done in the past,” Pallotta said. “We hope it gets fixed before we can even discuss reopening all school buildings.”

Among the changes Pallotta said they want to see is a better, more consistent testing model. They also want to see schools cleaned on a regular basis. However, district leaders across the region admit that this is less of a factor. Most districts have intense disinfecting processes in place among cleaning staff.

“We know that we want to be helpful in this. We also want to protect students, staff, their families,” Pallotta added. “So, we are going to look at everything that comes up very carefully to make sure it actually makes sense. Educators, superintendents, principals, teachers, guidance counselors, everyone that is in the building, should have a part to say in this.”

Officials are encouraged by the lowering numbers of COVID cases in New York. Only about 25% of schools in New York are open full-time for in-person learning, according to Spectrum News.