Rocky River parents sign petition to reopen schools

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 7:16 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An online petition has gained over 800 signatures from parents and guardians calling to open Rocky River Schools in the Fall. The school board met Wednesday night and couldn’t come to an agreement on how to reopen schools in a few weeks.

This comes after the Cuyahoga County Board of Health recommended schools begin classes virtually. The petition calls for the board to reject this recommendation and reopen with in-person classes.

“I think the virtual doesn’t, at least with my grandson, engage him as much as it would be in a school setting,” said Peggy Stenzel, a grandmother doing her best to help her young grandchildren through online learning. She said her grandson, who will be in 2nd grade, “needs to be with his peers. I think they learn from each other and learn social skills and how to follow rules. It’s important.”

She said she doesn’t think he and her granddaughter, a kindergartener, are getting the education and developmental skills they would if they were in a classroom every day.” She admits it’s a struggle, “it’s not as easy as it used to be and we’re doing our best to teach them and help them learn but we’re not teachers.”

Stenzel said it’s been hard on the whole family. “It’s affected everybody. Both my daughter and son-in-law and my other daughter and son-in-law, they’re all working from home. It’s impossible working from home when you have kids. They’re just lucky they have grandparents here that can help.”

Molly Coyne’s daughter, Maggie, goes to Kensington Intermediate. She said for her, it’s a tough call. “I would love for my children to be in the classroom. I have friends and family that are educators so my thoughts are also to the educators. They have to be safe.” Maggie hasn’t seen friends since schools closed in March. “I miss my friends and I don’t like doing online because it was really hard for me to learn new things. I didn’t have a teacher to ask. I could e-mail her but I might not have understood what she really meant.”

Molly said she anticipates Maggie’s school will start back up virtually and said it’s not ideal, “the kids have to be in the classroom, they need to be around their friends, their teachers. But if it’s not safe, it’s not safe.”

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