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Parents express concerns over hybrid learning model at Franklin Township schools

Posted at 8:52 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 06:34:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Some parents at Franklin Township Community Schools are calling on administrators to make adjustments to their hybrid learning model.

More than 1,700 people have signed a petition expressing their concerns.

“She is basically on her own three days a week and she is spending at minimum 10 hours a day,” parent Raven Ventimigila said. “She's not doing any type of calls with teachers. There is no interaction on those days, so that is a struggle.”

“A lot of the time is spent trying to teach themselves the material, you know looking for YouTube videos and going on Google and attempting to find resources that are not being provided,” parent Laura Rakaska said.

Some of the changes they want to see include teacher interaction on e-learning days, a consistent communication portal so deadlines and assignments are clear and an adjusted workload.

“We basically started the petition to see how many people are having these challenges and a request of the school board and administration to meet with parents,” Rakaska said. “We can look at their grades and we can see, how are they being impacted? How were their grades last year? What do they look like this year? Obviously, something has changed.”

“We are not blaming the teachers. We know they are doing the best that they can. What we are asking for is the administration to continue to adapt,” Ventimigila said.

They hope adjustments happen sooner than later.

“This cannot be a throwaway year for our children. We can’t say okay, we're all learning but what happens right now doesn't matter because it does,” Rakaska said.

The Franklin Township School District released a statement saying they will meet with parents individually to discuss any concerns they might have.

A spokesperson for the district told WRTV they will meet with parents individually if they have concerns about their child’s education.

“The hybrid model is new to students, parents, and staff. We continue to use the feedback that we have been receiving from both parents and staff to continually improve our hybrid model. We are always happy to individually meet with a parent to discuss the concerns they have for their student and to work together to find ways to help their child experience success,” said Dr. Chase Huotari, chief academic officer, secondary, at Franklin Township Community School Corporation.

Parents WRTV spoke with say they still hope district leaders take their ideas for improvement into consideration.