Rocky River parents frustrated with the district’s hybrid program attend heated school board meeting

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 10:23 PM EST
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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WOIO) - Many school districts are struggling to make the right decisions during the pandemic. They’re trying to balance keeping students and faculty safe with making sure students are still getting a quality education.

Many parents in Rocky River are not happy with the way the school’s hybrid program has been working, but the district says they are during the best they can during these uncertain times.

More than 100 parents, teachers, and school administrators met inside the school auditorium for a special school board meeting Wednesday evening.

A lot of parents left the meeting at Rocky River High School with the same frustrations they came in with.

“Frustrated like we’ve been banging our heads against the wall like nobody’s listening to us,” said parent Andrea Kimmel.

Kimmel is so fed up she started the paperwork to withdraw her kids from the school system.

“We are being considered at Laurel for my daughter and University School for my son, and then I’ll have to move because I can’t afford to pay the property taxes in Rocky River that you pay for the school systems that they give you and then not use the schools,” explained Kimmel.

Parents say with the hybrid model, students go to school every day but only for two and a half hours to get less instructional time than they got pre-COVID. Some parents do want to see kids go back full time.

“My feeling is if we are not trying to make a path towards that when will we?” said parent Amy Coleman.

Most of them are just asking the administration to make the hybrid model better.

“My role in this has been about just get the kids what they deserve which is better instruction more instructional time,” said Kimmel.

Some teachers said they don’t feel safe going back full time right now.

“Can I address just the more than just the illusion that teachers want to stay in hybrid because they’re somehow selfish or lazy I have never worked harder for your children than I am right now,” one teacher and parent said during the meeting.

The school district decided to stay in the hybrid mode now through the holidays.

“I think we need to hear what their concerns are and do our very best to address them so we can improve the situation for them,” said Michael Shoaf, Superintendent of the Rocky River school district.

The district says they will look at the possibility of going back to school fully in person in January. Parents hope, in the meantime, the school will come up with a way to improve the hybrid plan.

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