MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — As parents wait for more decisions on what the school year will look like at Mobile County schools, some hope for virtual options.
“I don’t see how I’m the only parent that feels this way,” said Lisa Dixon, a Mobile County Public Schools parent.
We are just 13 days away from the start of Mobile County’s school year, and some parents, like Dixon, say they’re worried about sending their students back as coronavirus cases continue to spike in Mobile County.
“The only thing they have given us for 6th grade and below is to use the Alabama virtual school,” said Dixon.
Dixon enrolled her daughter at the beginning of the summer for in-person learning. She says that’s when things were looking much better case-wise. Dixon has an auto-immune disease and while she and the rest of her family are vaccinated, her youngest daughter isn’t old enough to get the vaccine.
“She’s so excited, she’s begging to go back. But, now there’s this new surge in cases. All I’m asking, begging, screaming from the rooftops as best I can is why can’t the school system offer us the same thing we did last year? At least for the first semester,” said Dixon.
Dixon says she and her family have been extremely careful, and no one in her immediate family has gotten sick with the virus in a year and a half.
“If I send her to school and she gets COVID, she will be here with me, I’ll be her primary caretaker. I do have lupus, I have been vaccinated, however, how far can I push the limits of that vaccine to 24/7 exposure for two weeks while my baby’s sick, not to mention, what if she gets really sick,” said Dixon.
The Mobile County Public School System sent out a survey to their elementary school families, and they say the responses were overwhelmingly in favor of face-to-face learning, but there is interest in virtual options. MCPSS says they are taking the survey into consideration.
“I’m not asking them to only virtual, I know that is completely unfeasible for so many people. All I want is the option to keep my daughter and my family safe while this horrible surge is going on without completely disrupting her current school, her current friends, her current everything,” said Dixon.
The school system says they are waiting on more guidance from the state before finalizing their back-to-school plans. They ask for patience as they work out their plans. They say they are using layered prevention in their schools, and strongly recommending wearing masks.