Parents disagree with school district’s back-to-school Covid plan

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(ABC 6 News) – As the school year approaches, local school districts are finalizing their plans to keep Covid out of schools this fall, but there are lots of unanswered questions.

For many, it’s a balancing act: send your child to school where their physical health may be at risk, or keep them home where there may be mental health and developmental concerns.

That’s the dilemma facing many parents including Alisha Eiken.

"I don’t think superintendents or local leaders like school board members ever expected to be responsible for an entire communities health, but unfortunately, that’s the situation we’re in," Eiken said.

Eiken has a second grader and a fourth grader in Byron schools. She said last year, schools were required to follow guidelines set by the state. But this year, it’s up to each district to decide how they want to handle Covid protocols.

Eiken said she disagrees with her district’s leaders.

"My biggest concern is our kids will not be in school very long with this plan, and I think that’s the concern of most parents who are trying to get them to listen to the healthcare experts," Eiken said.

Byron public schools said it is only recommending masks, not requiring them. If there is an exposure, children will have to mask for ten days.

Eiken said if kids have to switch to at-home learning, then childcare becomes an issue.

"The thing we want the most is for our kids to stay in school and for our kids to be healthy," another Byron mom, Emily Wellerritter, said.

She has the same concerns. Wellerritter said the school told her her only option was to enroll elsewhere.

"The problem is we’re down to the last minute. School starts in one week," Wellerritter said.

Both moms said they are hoping the schools will release stronger Covid protocols before they consider enrolling their kids in another district that better fits their values.

But there isn’t much time left. Byron public schools start school on Sept. 2.

Both Austin and Rochester Public Schools begin next week.