OAK PARK, Mich (WXYZ) — Families across metro Detroit had days to adjust after several school districts announced they were closing or returning to virtual learning this week.
Oak Park, Southfield, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, and Detroit Public school districts all announced just a few days ago they were canceling face-to-face school this week. Many parents say they are stressed and scrambling.
“We are trying as hard as we possibly can to keep that stress internal and not expose the kids to it,” says Ross Kinder who has six kids at three different public schools in Ann Arbor.
Kinder says on New Year's Eve the district sent out a letter saying school would be canceled the following Monday and Tuesday and remain virtual the rest of the week. His plan?
“Essentially lean on grandparents.”
Luckily, Kinder says he has family, at least temporarily, to step in and help while he and his wife go to work.
Emily Sutherland also has a child enrolled at AAPS. Sutherland has the ability to work from home and says she is having to juggle entertaining and educating her second-grader, while on the clock.
“It is a part-time job for us on top of our full-time job,” says Sutherland
Maher Salah says for him, it's either one or the other.
“This Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I have to take off to babysit, essentially, my kindergartener, first grader, and third-grader to make sure they are all doing their virtual school.”
Sutherland fears virtual school is here to stay.
“I don’t think they would have done two days of planning for only three days of virtual school that just doesn’t add up”
All three parents say they understand the schools' COVID concerns but wish the AASD would be more transparent.
Salah suggests a metric where parents can have a clear understanding of when school will be canceled so families can better prepare.