‘I can’t figure out what the right solution is’; Parents struggle with school around the corner

SPOKANE, Wash. — This pandemic has parents asking themselves, ‘What is best for my child and their education?’

Many local schools are starting the year online, while others are providing options to stay virtual or go in-person when it’s time.

RELATED: LIST: School districts determine back to school plans

What is the right thing to do?

4 News Now’s Robyn Nance visited with three mothers from three different school districts, trying to make sense of and make decisions about going back to school.

Stacy Pincock is a Spokane Public Schools mom—she has twin boys who are going to be freshmen at Lewis and Clark High School this year. Brooke Price is a Central Valley mom, with two of her kids at Central Valley High School, another at Horizon Middle School and still another at Chester Elementary; she also has a child in the Early Learning Center. Jill Hubbs’ kids are in the Cheney School District; she has three boys, aged 12, 14 and 16.

“My 16-year-old is in the self-contained program, so he needs the highest level of support for special education and he is transferring from Cheney Middle School to Cheney High School,” Hubbs said.

All three of these school districts are launching the year with distance learning, but in Cheney, for Hubbs’ oldest son, special education is still a question mark.

“The needs that my son has cannot be met virtually, online—we learned that. It’s fine for short-term, but not this longer term scenario that we’re in right now,” said Hubbs.

Price, likewise, has two children who get special education help. They struggled in the fall with online classes. But she also worries about her older kids.

“I have seen some increased anxiety, and borderline… a little bit of depression, which has been sad and hard to see,” said Price.

Pincock said her twins are not looking forward to starting their high school career at home, but the whole family is trying to be flexible.

“The district has done a good job of coming up with a basic plan, but it’ll be nice to have, like, a specific plan for each of my kids,” Pincock explained. “I think that’ll be really helpful, and then we just go from there. I feel like you get some information and you take it to the next step.”

One of the biggest questions Robyn Nance had for these parents—if it was possible, would they send their kids to school in-person.

“I would, yeah.” Price said.

“I can’t figure out what the right solution is for my speical ed kiddo,” Hubbs said. “I do think I would probably send… I would have a conversation with them for sure, right now we haven’t had that conversation since it’s not an option. They’re at an age where I can ask them.”

“If the district would’ve come out and said that we’re sending the kids to school, I probably would’ve taken that option, too,” said Pincock.

Until that option is available, the moms say they just need to be kept in the loop.

“Communication is going to be number one,” Price said. “And then figuring out, kind of just trying to do it the same across the board in what is expected.”