Core learning to be done at home in Ashland School District

ASHLAND, Ore. — Ashland schools are hoping to return to hybrid learning in early March for the youngest students. But one Ashland mom is concerned the district’s plan could leave students behind.

“I have asked that core learning is provided in-person when we send our kids in. When we take this risk with the community, potentially of having other outbreaks, that every single moment counts,” said Carlie Irvin, a nurse practitioner and mother of three. She has two kids in the Ashland School District. She’s concerned about the district’s hybrid learning plan when kids return to campus in March.

“It’s alarming to me that our core learning was not going to be provided in-person. To me, it’s alarming because my children are struggling,” said Irvin. Ashland School District director of programs Christine McCollum said reading and math will be taking place at home, online.

“Our class will come onto campus at the same time and they’d be receiving standard space instruction and things like science, social studies and social/emotional health. Maybe some P.E. and music,” said McCollum.  Prioritizing subjects like P.E. and music over core subjects in-person, doesn’t sit well with Irvin.

“To tell me my children are not allowed to get their core learning in-person, but rather they are going to get music and P.E. instead. To continue to let them slip through the cracks is unacceptable,” said Irvin. She knows it’s important kids get back in the classroom.

“The children that are struggling the most are the ones of minorities and those with learning disabilities,” said Irvin. She is on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Board for the Ashland School District and says this reigns true for her family.

She says two of her children are of Latino descent and one has a learning disability. Irvin says it’s clear, her kids are not learning on the online platform. “If I was the only parent in this situation, I would make adjustments. But it’s clear to me we are not the only family in this situation,” said Irvin.

The school district says it’s not prioritizing some subjects over others. “It’s an instructional choice on the part of the school district to structure the school day they way we did,” said McCollum. Irvin says she’s a mom and a nurse, not a teacher.

She respects the responsibility that has been placed on the school district, but says she feels like she has to advocate for her children and others like hers who are struggling.

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