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FAMILY REACTION: Parents and students speak out after hearing RPS reopening plan

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- There's always a bit of anticipation mid-August, as summer winds down and families get ready to start a new school year. This year however, it's a different type of anticipation.

Rochester families heard the news Friday afternoon: most elementary student will have a hybrid learning plan, while secondary students will have a distance learning plan.

"We just got to go with the flow," Mayo High School student Isaiah Chhin said.

Some high schoolers -- like Chhin and John Marshall student Danny Ta -- are feeling optimistic at a second round of distance learning.

"We can attack it way better than we did it in the spring," Chhin said.

"We haven't been in school for like five months," Ta echoed. "We are used to it and it will get easier."

Kellog Middle Schooler Sasha Wheeler is looking forward to getting back in the classroom part time after a rough go last spring.

"The experience is different for everyone. But I didn't like it that much," Wheeler said. "[I'd] rather be in school, in person, talking to people."

Other elementary students are looking forward to the return of a somewhat familiar routine. For parents though, the hybrid model still comes with its challenges.

"We have a summer babysitter who is willing to help us," Longfellow parent Anna Strand said. "Both of us work, so it will definitely be challenging. We don't know what we will do when she goes back to school. But, being in school two days a week has been really nice."

"I just don't think it's fair to juggle the kids around that much," mother of a soon-to-be first grader Kimberly Busby said. Busby was hoping students could return full time.

While the hybrid learning model offers challenges, it does make sure parents don't become full time teachers like some did last spring.

"I'm not educated to be an educator," Busby added.

"I feel awful for the teachers. They are in a really difficult situation to be put at risk for potential sick children and COVID concerns," Strand said. "But we also understand we are in the midst of a pandemic and we all have to work together to make it work for the community and do the best for our future."

Beret Leone

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