Rockwood school board reverses course and votes for all virtual learning; parents furious

COVID and the Classroom

EUREKA, Mo. – Rockwood School District voted to have all students return to virtual learning for the start of the school year.

The district offered two back to school plans. One was all virtual, meaning the students would learn on a computer from home. The second had a few days in the classroom and a few days virtual.

More than 1,800 parents signed a petition asking for a third choice. That choice would be all five days in a classroom.

Parents showed up in force at the school board meeting.

“This is madness, when I sit around and look at this,” said parent Adam Whittington.

Parents were not happy their children could not be educated in a classroom five days a week and they let the school board know how they felt.

“You took surveys from us. You turned your back on those statistics,” Whittington said. “The majority of parents wanted to go to school five days a week.”

More than 1,800 people went to Change.org to sign the Rockwood petition demanding the change to in-person learning for kids.

“We’re desperate for our teachers to give our children what we know we can’t,” said parent Elizabeth Cohen.

Amber Mueller brought her two sons to state their desire to learn in a school building.

“I had a hard time learning from home,” said Carson Mueller, a fourth-grader. “For example, at school it takes me two days to learn a subject; online it took me two weeks.”

Marjorie Rolling spoke out in support of all virtual learning at Thursday’s meeting.

“Hospital admissions are too high in St. Louis County and the percent positive is too high,” she said.

The board made a big change; they voted the entire district will be all virtual for at least the first quarter.

“In the past weeks, it became very apparent that our reduced capacity plan may not be feasible, I think out of an abundance of caution of the safety of our students and staff,” said district spokesman Alex Fees.

The parents who wanted five days in the classroom gathered outside. They were livid.

“I’m disgusted. The people behind me are disgusted. If you’re out there, no matter what part of the city, the county, the state, if your kids are not in school, it’s their right to be in school,” said parent Derick Pratt.

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