WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Families are a few days into full remote learning for Wichita Public Schools students and parents are having mixed experiences.
“It is tough, there are a lot of emotions that go along with it,” said Angela Partridge, mother.
Some parents said although the adaption process was quick, their kids are adapting well.
“So far, it’s been great for us and we’re hoping it will continue to stay that way,” said Partridge. “The days seem long, but they’re excited to do school, excited to see their teacher. They’ve adapted fairly well.”
The McGhee family has another family member joining them for remote learning to help relatives avoid outrageous child care costs.
The family has even built divided desks to help the students concentrate while doing their remote work.
“So they’re not talking to each other and distracted by one another,” said Partridge. “So far, it’s worked very well.”
Parents who are not able to work from home said they are having to rely on their older children to help their younger siblings during the day.
“We can’t afford to stay home from work and be on top of everybody,” said Amanda McCluer, mother. “We’re paying for them to eat lunch. We can’t even make it to the lunch sites because they’re open when we’re at work, so kind of defeats the purpose. We are having to pay a higher bill in food and utilities and all that.”
McCluer has five sons whose ages range from nine years old to 18 years old and all of them are learning remotely from home.
“It’s been kind of difficult with our older kids trying to help him because when they do, if [our youngest child] has got questions, they end up being late to their classes or they miss an assignment because they’re helping him,” said McCluer.
The parents said they are fighting to make all of this work and willing to do whatever is needed to help others during this difficult time.
“As a community, that’s how our children are going to be successful,” said Patridge. “We have to come together and we have to be there for one another.”
Some USD 259 parents said they have had a tough time with technical issues like logging in and getting a good connection online.
District officials said the most common issues they are seeing include the Mifi devices that provide internet access for students not connecting or families having a hard time finding a good connection in their home. The district has also assisted with password reset problems.
If your family needs assistance, technical help with remote learning or bilingual language support, you can visit one of the WPS Family Help Centers. They are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. at three locations:
- North High School, 1437 Rochester
- South High School, 701 W. 33rd S.
- Alvin Morris Administrative Center, 903 S. Edgemoor
You can also call the district’s Help Desk phone line Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. at 973-HELP (4357).