Parent Perspectives on Hybrid and Remote Learning

Eve Loehrer and Lily Harrison

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were given the option of fully in-person or online learning. However, when school began on September 8, elementary students who had signed up for in-person learning began in hybrid and all middle and high schoolers were completely online. This change affected students greatly, but parents and teachers had to adjust as well. The Chronicle interviewed several Olathe parents for their thoughts on online and hybrid learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Robyn Loehrer, Olathe parent

Image from Robyn Loehrer

What grades are your kids in?

4th, 7th, and 10th.

What are your opinions on hybrid learning?

Hybrid learning was really difficult for elementary kids. They needed that face-to-face time, so I’m really happy that they are back and it was just a very short period of time.

What are your opinions on fully online learning?

There have been quite a few connectivity issues, which there’s not much we can do about, and so our middle schooler has been missing parts of lessons and therefore has trouble completing some homework assignments based on that missing instruction.

What is the most difficult part of learning right now?

The one thing they are missing here at home is the time with friends and the socialization and the feeling as they are a part of something, instead of just here on their own little island.

Hollie Arnold, Olathe parent

Image from Hollie Arnold

What grades are your kids in?

2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th 

How have your daily routines changed with this new school schedule?

Our Mornings are much less rushed with online learning. My elementary students start much later than the middle schoolers, so we were able to ease into our schedule each day.

What style of learning do you prefer most, online hybrid or fully in-person learning and why? 

I prefer my kids to be fully in-person learning when possible. They love to socialize and to be a part of their school community. They miss their friends, activities, and classroom learning. We have, however, chosen remote learning for the entire first semester. I think my kids have continued to grow and learn as online students due to the incredible time and efforts of their teachers. However, I do wish they had much less screen time, which isn’t always feasible in this type of learning environment.

Jodi Hiem, Olathe parent

Image from Jodi Hiem

What grades are your kids in?

1st, 5th and 10th

What do you like or dislike about online learning? 

It is harder to keep the kids engaged with online learning. 

What style of learning do you prefer most online hybrid or fully in-person learning and why? 

I like hybrid learning for elementary age kids as it keeps the class smaller sizes.

How have your daily routines changed with this new school schedule?

For our schedule, I am very lucky that my husband works from home. He can help supervise the online portion of the school day while I am at work.

Christina Williams, Olathe parent and 4th-grade teacher

Image from Christina Williams

What grades are your kids in?

2nd, 6th, and 8th

How has being a parent and a teacher changed during online and hybrid learning?

Parents had to navigate helping their students while working from home or while sending their students to daycare or friends’ houses. It has been challenging in so many aspects. As a teacher who is a parent, I found myself having to help my own children when I came home from school in the evenings.

How do you think this experience will affect you as a parent and a teacher?

I think the pandemic has taught me a lot about flexibility and perseverance. We always have to think in “back-up” mode! If this doesn’t work, what are we going to do to troubleshoot? We’ve also had to learn to keep trying and to ask for help. No matter how long someone has been a teacher, they are going to make mistakes and have to try again this year. As a parent, the same holds true.