Some parents upset with new online service for remote learning in Fayette County

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FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Nearly everything about education changed during the pandemic. The way students and teachers interact, educate, and operate all now occur partially online. While some may be used to the new form of education, there are parents in Fayette County who say things are worse now more than ever.

The Fayette county Board of Education met earlier this year to discuss the plans for the upcoming semester. Board members decided to return to a blended education model with the hopes of soon returning to fully in-person learning. Gary Hough, the Superintendent of Fayette County, said in order to get students back in the classroom, you need enough teachers.

“If we are going to bring our brick and mortar kids back on a full time basis, we have to find a way to bring those teachers back to the classroom so that we can reduce those class sizes,” Hough said.

For the first half of the year, elementary school students who chose a fully online education were taught by Fayette County teachers through an online service called Schoology. In order to have smaller class sizes, those teachers are now fully involved in face-to-face instruction.

The board of education made the decision to have their fully remote elementary school students learn through an online service called, Edgenuity, where they are taught by out-of-state educators.

Amanda Ruleman is parent of Fayette County student.

“I wasn’t pleased about a new program, I said hey we’ll give it a shot the other one wasn’t so bad. With this one, it is so complicated there is so much work,” Ruleman explained.

Ruleman said she believes the new program creates more problems than it solves. She brought two students with her who said they miss Schoology and their teachers.

“It was easier, well taught, and it actually taught me,” said one elementary school student.

“The work is way to hard and they are assigning too many assignments,” said another.

Superintendent Hough said he knows the transition to the new program can be frustrating for students and their parents, but he wants them to know the board is working through the transition to make things easier on everyone.

“Needless to say, I understand what the feelings are as we went through a change. I think it is important to have patience as we go through that issue,” said Hough.

But for some, their patience is running out.

“I have cried, my child has cried,” said Ruleman.

Ruleman and many other parents who we spoke with said they feel pushed to the wayside as the focus shifts to getting students back in school full time.

Hough wanted concerned parents to understand while the program may seem overwhelming, it is the best tool they have to getting and keeping students on track.

“The platform is what we have to do for the overall makeup of Fayette County schools, the whole school system and all the kids in the school system, we don’t want them left behind,” said Superintendent Hough.

Hough said he is proud of how his students and faculty are handling online education. He hopes he only has to ask them to endure it for a little while longer.

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