Hutchinson parents react to school district switching to hybrid learning

Coronavirus in Kansas

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – A month into the school year and Hutchinson Public Schools is having to move to hybrid learning.

With students being part-time remote and part-time at school, it is leaving some parents like Erica Rascon worrying about who will watch her fifth-grade son.

“Us, moms and dads, we have to work to pay our bills, and now that we have to find someone to watch him it makes it hard on us,” she said.

“I’m just worried I’m not going to find somebody to watch him,” she said.

In Reno County, the positive test rate is soaring at more than 16% putting the district into the orange category of their gating criteria.

“We are trying to keep these kids in school, but the breeding ground is there. It is right and that’s what happens with school in session,” said Karen Hammersmith, co-director of the Reno County Health Department.

“Cause of all the cases that were coming up, it was kind of I don’t know just kind of bound to happen,” Dasia Neely, Hutchinson High School sophomore said.

As a preventative move, the district is now splitting students into two groups that will alternate days in class and days online.

“We are able to spread them out further, more social distancing in the classroom. When we got a classroom of say 20 or 25 kids it’s difficult to have social distancing,” said Ray Hemman, USD 308 Public Information Director.

Groups are being created based off of the students last name.

“For me, it is going to be a little awkward because I have my grandkids and my great-nephews. They don’t have the same last names, so they won’t be going in on the same days,” said Tracy Beck, who picks them up regularly.

USD 308 says they have sent technology home with some students. However, Rascon says it’s not enough.

“I don’t have internet, so I can’t pay for that.”

Hutchinson Public Schools says it will likely stay in the hybrid model for at least two weeks. The district will then re-evaluate the gating criteria each Friday.

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