State schools

Learning modules, micro-schools plan to withdraw children from public schools

A group of parents who oppose the school mask mandate are working to create a coalition of home-schooling options that would essentially operate as a series of one-room schools. Photo by Meg Bouldon/Unsplash

A group in Delawares upset by the state’s school mask mandate is working to create alternative education methods for students.

The group hopes to form coalitions of parents, retired teachers and experienced home teachers to offer learning modules, micro-schools and tutors.

“Essentially what we’re organizing right now and looking at bringing back is one-room school,” said James Davidson of Patriots for Delaware.

He said organizers thought they could be ready to go before classes started.

Learning modules and micro-schools aim to allow parents to be more selective about curricula and teaching methods without fear of hindering students’ social development.

Appoquinimink School District superintendent Matthew Burrows said a parent at an Appo school board meeting mentioned starting the school year that way and then bringing the kids back after the 30th. September. This is the deadline for state funding per pupil. for schools. The state’s share of school funds is no longer collected during the year.

Doing that would hurt all children, Burrows said, because classroom sizes are funded and based on the number of children expected. School systems spend the summer trying to be specific about who is coming and what they can expect financially.

Children who come to school after September 30 would find themselves in classrooms set up for a smaller group, he said. Because there is no more state money available at that time, any additional spending should come from local taxpayers’ money rather than the state paying its share, he said. he declares.

“At the end, my worry East fair with the kids,” Burrows said. “Wand want to the children to have a high quality education, to interact with other children. Finances aside – and they or they are important. Yeswe need the finance for Craft school function, corn our number a priority East the child.”

He said many children are thriving with homeschooling, just as some children are thriving with virtual learning. Parents will want to ensure that their children receive a quality education.

“Most kids need to be in person, to have that interaction, and to be in the classroom,” he said.

Jon Starkey, spokesman for Governor John Carney, said, “The Governor’s top priority is getting all Delaware students back to their classrooms full-time this fall.”

Efforts were unsuccessful on Thursday afternoon to reach state education officials for comment.

Patriots for Delaware describes itself as a nonpartisan coalition whose members believe in constitutional and family values. Many members complained when schools were closed in 2020-21 due to COVID-19. Now some would rather their children not go to school at all than go to school in masks.

The group coordinates with parents, retired teachers and experienced homeschoolers to provide alternatives to public and private schools.

“We will provide alternative options to Christian schools and private schools, right down to homeschooling your child on your own,” Davidson said.

The organization hopes to reassure interested parents that home schooling is a viable option.

“We’re also trying to help connect the dots between families so they can homeschool as a family,” Davidson said. “We also have teachers who want to tutor and teach multiple children for parents who need to work, say, five days a week, so they can still go to work normally, and those teachers can take care and teach their children.

The efforts are not just for those who oppose mask mandates, but also for parents who are no longer comfortable with the centralized education system, he said.

Davidson said the group compiles information about openings in private and parochial schools to save parents time as they transition their children out of the public school system.

“We’re just trying to connect the dots and help parents feel comfortable with the possibility of taking their kids out of public school,” Davidson said. “That’s all we can do.”

The efforts come as some parents say public school systems have been unwilling to stand up to the state government and fight for their children.

Many school boards meetings were interrupted in recent days by parents who oppose the governor’s school mask mandate.

“We shouldn’t have to do this,” Davidson said. “Our local school boards should stand up and fight the edict that has been passed, but they are not.”