Fayetteville parents frustrated about district’s plan

KNWA

Dr. Colbert said almost 80 percent of parents were in favor of in-person schooling, but since it wasn't unanimous the district had to make a new plan.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fayetteville parents are saying the school district isn’t taking concerns they have about the fall reopening plans seriously.

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We’re being forced to go to private school. Not like we have a bunch of extra money, but with a kid with dyslexia, there’s no option.

SARAH DEATON, HAS KIDS IN FAYETTEVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT 

The uncertainty of the coronavirus will continue into the upcoming school year for several local families.

There’s just so many layers that people really can’t afford, but they are having to make that sacrifice for their kids. It’s very unsettling. 

SARAH DEATON, HAS KIDS IN FAYETTEVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT 

On Thursday, July 23, several parents voiced concerns to Fayetteville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John L. Colbert about the three options they can choose from for the fall semester.

We ask that you please be patient with us because believe me, I realize that we do have working parents and I do know that this has put a hardship on you and we have not forgotten you.

DR. JOHN L. COLBERT, FAYETTEVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT

Each option includes at least three days of virtual learning for children.

Sixty percent of the time that my kids are in school this fall, they’re actually not with a teacher. Instead, they’ll be with a babysitter, they’ll be with someone who is basically helping them navigate an online curriculum.

AMBER MOSER, HAS KIDS IN THE FAYETTEVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT 

Parents like Sarah Deaton, Hannah Clark, Amber Moser, and Kelly Scott Unger, all have kids in the Fayetteville School District.

“It just goes so far beyond just my kids and my family,” Unger said. “It’s all the kids that are going to be impacted by this decision.” 

They said they are all very frustrated by the district’s reopening plans.

“I’m devastated,” Deaton said. “I bawled my eyes out to be honest.”

Some of them said they are even in the process of transferring their kids out because of it.

The board switching up the survey at the last minute, giving parents zero notice, is really impacting families very very poorly. 

HANNAH CLARK, HAS KIDS IN THE FAYETTEVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT 

At Thursday’s (July 23) meeting, Dr. Colbert said almost 80 percent of parents were in favor of in-person schooling, but since it wasn’t unanimous the district had to make a new plan.

“We’re looking at the numbers, and once we finalize those numbers, we can go ahead and determine how we can accommodate those parents who say, ‘hey, I really need for my child to be in school 5 days,’” he said.

Dr. Colbert was unable to do an interview on Friday, July 24, but he said the district is committed to working with parents to find solutions.

I can assure you that is on top of the list when we talk about educating kids at Fayetteville Public Schools.

DR. JOHN L. COLBERT, FAYETTEVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT

I feel like parents are in [a] full-time crisis, like full-time panic mode.

SARAH DEATON, HAS KIDS IN FAYETTEVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT 

Stay with KNWA/KFTA as we continue to follow this story.

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