Bentonville parents battle between blended and virtual learning

KNWA

"This is a BIG decision and life altering," Julie Lawler said.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Parents of students at Bentonville Public Schools have until Wednesday, July 8, to choose between blended or virtual learning for the upcoming fall semester.

It’s hard to juggle work and trying to be there with your kids, for your kids.

KELLY WILSON, PARENT

KNWA/KFTA spoke with parents about how this decision has put them in a tough situation because they have to consider what’s safer and more manageable for their children and family.

I just feel like the sanitation is going to be a huge issue.

JULIE LAWLER, PARENT

On Monday (July 6) The Bentonville School District sent an email saying as a result of this change in guidance, it’s recommending the school board approve that all K-12 students be required to wear a face-covering when social distancing measures aren’t possible.

The board will vote on July 21, meaning parents have to make a decision before they know if masks will be required or not.

Bentonville Schools Superintendent Dr. Debbie Jones said the district couldn’t wait any longer.

“We still have a tremendous amount of work to do,” Dr. Jones said. “We are working as quickly as we can to get everything in place, but we have to have the numbers in order to make that happen.”

Kelli Wilson has two kids in the district.

I didn’t put my decision in until last night because it was tough for us.

KELLI WILSON, PARENT

She said she feels it’ll be a safer environment if masks are mandated at the school.

“I hope that the board votes to require mask wearing,” she said. “Not only for the kids but for our teachers.”

Regardless what the board decides though, she believes ultimately the best route for her children is learning in the classroom.

“I trust that they will only stay open if it’s a safe environment for our kids,” she said.

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Julie Lawler has a daughter in the district.

She said she felt with the limited information parents have at this point, virtual learning was the way to go — despite some of the challenges.

“Know what your options are,” Lawler said. “Weigh them out carefully.”

I feel like if you can balance those frustrations with the risk of your individual health and the health of your children… what’s more important?

JULIE LAWLER, PARENT

Lawler said she’s confident her daughter will succeed with the decision she’s made, especially since there will be less stress and anxiety.

“I feel like the steadiness and the predictability of a virtual learning environment brings a lot of comfort,” she said.

No matter the decision though, everyone can agree they all want the same thing — safety for all those involved.

We don’t know what this virus will bring, but we do know that we can pivot as we need to, so we can continue to provide education to all the students in our area.

DR. DEBBIE JONES

Video Courtesy: Downtown Bentonville Inc.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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