Coronavirus

Hamilton Southeastern parents upset new virtual learning option is only for teachers’ kids

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A new virtual learning option for the children of some Hamilton Southeastern teachers, staff and faculty has upset some parents of students in the district.

HSE is providing temporary student supervision of virtual learning at school buildings for children of all teachers, staff and faculty in grades K-6.

The supervised virtual learning will start Aug. 3 and run through Sept. 4 at each elementary school and at HSE Intermediate/Junior High.

Jaclyn McTaggart is an ER nurse and told News 8 her two kids have been doing virtual learning since the spring semester. McTaggart doesn’t want the same for them starting in the fall semester.

“It was really a challenge. I feel like the kids didn’t get much of an education, and everyone was kind of rolling with it,” said McTaggart. She said she would’ve liked the option of bringing her kids to school for assistance with virtual learning also.

McTaggart said many students cannot navigate virtual learning and parents may not be able to stay home to help due to work. She also discussed how mental health is weighing on families and believes school can be a safe haven.

“It is a benefit and perk to the staff, but this was funded by (tax) dollars that was supposed to spread out to everyone. Spaces that are supposed to be open to everyone,” McTaggart said.

HSE is supporting teachers who have to teach virtual learning from their classrooms.

Teachers are reporting back to school after families provided feedback of more scheduled virtual instruction, student engagement and increased rigor, according to the school system.

“These students will still follow along with their assigned teacher via their Canvas Learning Platform. They are not being provided a separate teacher. The permanent substitutes that are conducting the supervision are already being paid and are available to provide this service. This offering is not an additional cost to the district,” said HSE public information officer Emily Abbotts.

Non-staff members will have the option to place their kids into childcare at the local YMCA for special virtual instruction during those four weeks, but some parents believe having to pay up to $187 a week is costly. McTaggart hopes HSE Schools can re-evaluate the virtual option plan in the future.

“It is a cost and that again is another point of this disparity of why do our public dollars get to pay for only the teacher’s children to have supervised supervision and assistance and not the public dollars to get to pay for all children to have supervision and assistance?” asked McTaggart.

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