As Fargo and WF schools prepare to release plans this week, parents remain divided on whether kids should go back

Fargo and West Fargo public schools will make announcements on Friday
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:58 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - School leaders will be making major decisions this week regarding the upcoming school year.

On Friday, Fargo and West Fargo public schools will reveal their plans on whether students will be back in the classroom, as much of the country still deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think this is costing my kids too much to not go back to school,” Christina Hemmer said.

Hemmer has two children enrolled at Davies High School. One is entering as a freshman and the other as a senior. She’s concerned that working remotely will impact the senior’s application to colleges.

“The long term gains for them academically, outweigh the risk of them getting COVID,” Hemmer said.

Hemmer added that she’s already engaging in conversations with both of them about the school year.

“That’s probably the piece that we’ve been preparing for the most of still being ready to do school at home. Still, prepared that they may not go back to school,” Hemmer said.

The mother acknowledged that school administrators don’t have it easy making a decision, however, Hemmer said remote learning last year was exhausting for her and her husband.

Other Fargo parents aren’t too keen on sending their kids back. John Douglas has two enrolled at Jefferson Elementary School.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to gamble with my children’s lives for a political standpoint. I think it’s all about health and it’s about the children’s safety,” Douglas said.

Douglas said his kids want to go back, yet he won’t allow it.

“We as parents, we need to step up our game and we gotta make the decision for them. That’s our job as parents is to protect them,” Douglas said.

In one scenario under the proposed plan Fargo Public Schools released last week, elementary students could be allowed back on school grounds for two to three days and work remotely on the other days. Middle and high school students would work strictly online.

There would also be an option of a virtual academy for all families.

“I told her she probably does have to wear a mask if she goes back to school,” Alisa Williams said.

Williams has a seventh grader in Grand Forks Public Schools and she just wants the district to release a plan.

“I think the kids emotionally need to go back to school but, you know, physically and possibly getting sick, I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” Williams said.

Her daughter also wants to go back to school.

The Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, DFL, will issue guidance to schools for the reopening on Thursday.

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