DUMFRIES, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - As schools start to reopen, astounding numbers in counties across the region reveal a majority of students will be sticking with remote learning. Adelle Settle, a Prince William County Public Schools mother, explains the reasoning.
"I think that there’s just a lot of unknowns. I think that many parents just aren’t sure about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on a child’s health and I think that until we know that or until we can get children vaccinated – I think there’s a lot of hesitancy in the community to send their child back out into the world," said Settle.
She adds some children, like her kindergartener, are thriving with virtual learning so there is no need to send them back.
"She doesn’t have a lot of special needs or anything that really necessitates in-person services and she’s doing really well with at-home learning, the curriculum is good, the teachers are doing a great job of adapting to these crazy circumstances – since we’re able to keep her home – I work from home right now we’re here, so we can just keep her out and make it a bit little easier on the schools so that they don’t have one more kid to try to worry about and keep safe right now," said Settle.
Other parents have safety concerns specifically with the vaccine not being readily available to children just yet.
"I’m a single mom. I don’t have time to quarantine every couple weeks, every time they have an outbreak. To me – it’s more of a piece of mind to have him home and safe and not being exposed," said Rebekah Plummer.
Apparently, 60% of other parents in Prince William County feel the same. In Loudoun County, 63% of parents will keep their children home. Whereas, in Fairfax County, the percentage is split 50/50.
Over in Maryland, parents apparently feel the same way. In Prince George’s County, 70% will continue remote learning. In Montgomery County, 60% of students are sticking with virtual learning. In Frederick County, 57% will head back to the classroom.
While safety concerns are the main barrier to returning to school in-person for some parents and students, others are more confident in the health protocols. However, that is not the only reason why some are choosing to return. Parents like Karen Campbell said their child needs structure and they’re getting a little too comfortable at home.
"She’s always having to go to the bathroom or she’s wanting to get a snack every ten minutes and she’s always wanting to get up and do something else and I feel like if she was in her normal setting at school, it wouldn’t be like this. I feel like she’s more distracted being at home," said Campbell.
Other parents say their children are struggling with the isolation of virtual learning so they are sending them to learn in-person to be in a social atmosphere.
Schools want to ensure parents they have put the proper COVID-19 guidelines in place like mask-wearing and social distancing.