A group of parents in Montgomery County raise concerns about their district's hybrid plan

Katie Katro Image
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Group of parents in Montco raise concerns about district's hybrid plan
A group of parents in Montgomery County raise concerns about their district's hybrid plan.

AMBLER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A group of parents gathered outside of the Wissahickon Administration Building to voice their concerns about their children having a hybrid virtual school year.

"I have a rising junior who is immunocompromised, and yet the classes he has signed up for aren't offered by the virtual academy," said Joy Kohne, a parent.

Many parents Action News spoke with said they have safety concerns. Parents said they are demanding a list of 5 guidelines:

  • Safe school opening for all students K-12, teachers, support staff and community
  • Necessary PPE provided for students and staff
  • Reduced class size in an elementary in-person model
  • Virtual model 7-12 needs to be taught by Wissahickon teachers
  • Synchronous learning for both virtual and hybrid

"We want safety for the students, we want equity and quality for all of the students," said Melissa Tsiobikas, a parent, "I don't want my daughter to have to choose health and safety, over education."

Parents like Christina Thomas, who voted for the hybrid option, said they have concerns about the school's cleanliness guidelines.

"Not having enough cleaning supplies to make sure my kid can safely wipe down their desk and attend school," said Thomas.

The school board had an emergency meeting earlier in the week to discuss the opening guidelines. One of the board members showed up Sunday to listen to parents concerns.

"I thought we owed it to the parents who felt their children needed a face to face education to give them a chance to see if we can pull it off," said Ron Stoloff, a board member. "If we can't, then we will change to full virtual."

Many parents at the peaceful protest said they don't want virtual learning, as they say, they want to stick to the hybrid plan, but they just want to make sure it's safe.

"Our students from 7th to 12th grade deserve an education from the Wissahickon School District teachers, that's why we're in this district," said Robyn Klempner, a parent.

Parents said the discussion isn't over, and they plan to hold more peaceful protests throughout the upcoming days.