KCS parents discuss sticking with original learning model decisions


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Friday was the last day Knox County Schools families could choose to change their kids learning models. At last check, 6,600 change requests were made.

KCS parents Nira Seiber and Gretchen Ely chose two different learning models for their children, but the one thing they have in common is neither one of them are changing that for the next semester.

Nira Seiber chose in-person learning and says she will continue to send her kids in person.

“My kids have definitely benefitted by being in school. The school has done such a good job of mitigating and using all the new protocols to protect our kids,” Seiber said.

Seiber has seen both sides. After coming in close contact with someone who had COVID-19, her oldest daughter was forced to quarantine and had to temporarily switch to virtual learning.

“Her grades have suffered. She has suffered from being virtual for so long,” Seiber said.

Gretchen Ely, on the other hand, says virtual learning has not been easy for her kids, but she still thinks in person learning is too risky.

“It’s not a great option for us. We have problems with motivation and some of the classes are asynchronous and it’s been hard. So we look forward to a time when we don’t have to do virtual learning anymore,” Ely said.

Even though it hasn’t been easy, Ely says she doesn’t know what will happen come January, so she wanted to be safe.

“It’s just something that I think as a family we just have to try to get through rather than excel in and that’s hard but we’ve had to kind of adjust our attitudes and expectations across our whole family because of it,” Ely said.

Both parents say they are glad they get to choose what works for their families.

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