Public comments from Hudson on going five days

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Students in younger grades will all start school full-time on Monday.

Many parents and high school students voiced their opinions about the possibility of going from hybrid to "all-in" at the Hudson Board of Education at its Monday night meeting. 

Ultimately, the school board decided to have students eighth grade and younger go back to in-person classes five days a week, starting Oct. 19. Students at the high school will continue to attend classes twice a week on a staggered schedule and continue their classes online the remaining three days.

Some spoke in favor of having all students go back to the buildings full-time, while others wanted the district to maintain the hybrid schedule. The high school students and parents of older students in general leaned toward keeping the hybrid schedule, while parents with younger students generally urged a return to school five days a week.

To hear the discussion in its entirety, visit https://www.hudson.k12.oh.us/domain/77 and click on "Watch Board Meetings" in the left sidebar. 

Below is a sampling of comments from those who spoke during the meeting; they may be edited for length or clarity.

  • “Having all the students come in, I know [social distancing] will not happen. I know people want to social distance but with the large flow of students it’s impossible. We did a survey of the students, and nearly 70 percent wanted to stay in hybrid. They felt their opinions are different from their parents. I know you are leaning towards all-in, but I’m asking you to reconsider for our physical health and our mental health. We had 130 people respond."
  • "There are pros and cons of online learning. I like the freedom. I can go outside to walk my dog on breaks. But learning is not happening as it should be. Zoom calls with teachers are not effective. My younger sister is struggling. Also, when I'm at home having Zoom calls for eight hours a day, it's hard to concentrate. Learning isn’t really happening as it should be. If we go all in, I feel learning will happen the way it should."
  • "This is a hard decision to make. I'm not comfortable going all-in. There's not enough space, especially for discussion-based classes, where you can be talking for 90 minutes. We would need more time between classes so teachers can clean desks."
  • "I’ve got two boys. I’ve got a freshman and a seventh grader. We have a choice between all-in and hybrid. When I’m making a choice for my family, I make decisions based on data. When this hit nine months ago, I was nervous. I was afraid. Give us a choice. If you want to stay home, stay home. We know the risks, send our kids in school.”
  • "While data presented tonight is accurate, it does not tell the whole story. Hybrid is working extremely well for most of us. There is a risk beyond death, including long-term disability. People are losing their legs or suffering from a brain injury. I'd rather face the challenges in learning than lose a limb or half my brain. The school should do a split, only move to five days the lower grades where kids are most in need of the all-in model. But we do not need to transition to all-in."
  •  “I have a daughter who is a junior. Some of the data that came up tonight, it ignores the situation that things are heading the wrong way. To change that when things are getting worse, and there are those who think it will get far worse, this is not a nothing-burger. For those who died, there are few more horrific ways to die – alone, without family. Not enough people are wearing masks. Not enough people are following social distancing guidelines. The positivity rate is also going in the wrong direction.”
  • “My fear for this is not that we will go into all in and there will be a setback and we will go back to hybrid. My concern is that we will go all in, then there will be a spike and we will go to all remote, like we did in the spring, which was awful. My son is experienced from when we were in Pennsylvania doing  an online charter school, so he actually knew what he was doing, and he was very good at it, and he had a horrible experience. What I want to prevent is us changing from something that is clearly working now, changing to something we don’t need to do, and resulting in an outbreak that results with us taking seven steps backward.”