Ringwood School District has no plans to reopen schools, despite parents’ requests
Some parents in the Ringwood School District say that they want their children to return to school full-time. But despite the request, school officials say that there are no plans to change instruction before the end of the school year.
“For the rest of the school year, I feel nothing less than five half-days is acceptable,” says parent Stacey Honczarenko.
Honczarenko has a son and daughter in the Ringwood elementary schools. She has support from other parents for returning to school.
Along Ringwood Avenue, someone has painted messages urging a return to full time. The messages state, “Safely Open Ringwood Schools More,” “Listen, Plan, Progress,” and “In-person learning matters.”
“They are just tired of the screen time,” Honczarenko says. “This screen time is unnatural, it’s unhealthy. It’s creating a disconnect between them, their teachers, the way children should learn.”
Honczarenko has chosen to have her children attend five days of virtual learning so that they have a teacher instructing each day. Others have chosen different options that include: two days of instruction in school, each a half day, one day of virtual learning, and two more where students are assigned with, with no instruction.
Interim Ringwood School Superintendent Dr. Bernard Josefsberg said in a statement, "We are all looking for some form of relief from the toll of this pandemic. The conversations in Ringwood echo those in many other NJ communities. The District and the BOE have been – and will continue to be – mindful of safety guidelines and responsive to the range of parent concerns."
But Honczarenko and other parents say that they have heard the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that students can now be three feet apart in classrooms and have heard of other districts returning to full time. They are wondering why Ringwood can’t do the same.
“You know, we have heard terrible stories in our community of children struggling with depression, threatening to harm themselves. Tragic examples," Honczarenko says.
School administrators plan to address the concerns at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.