MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mark Rogers says being home with his three sons while they learn virtually is a positive.
“I’m very glad to be more involved in my children’s education,” Rogers said. “So, I don’t look at look at it as necessarily a bad thing.”
He says being more engaged is partly why he’s decided his sons will continue at-home learning.
Another major factor, Rogers had to battle COVID-19 himself.
“I had to go 71 days without being with my children while I was sick,” he said. “So personally, I’m really skeptical about them being back in the classroom.”
In its phased re-opening plan, SCS has outlined safety precautions for the classroom.
These include designated times for handwashing, temperature checks for everyone who enters the school building, and cleaning of schools and buses.
Rogers still doesn’t want to take the chance.
“Even though I know that Shelby County has made things a little bit more feasible as far as the safety and well-being of the educators, however, once those children go home we don’t know what would happen,” he said.
The phased re-entry would be over several weeks. Grades Pre-K through 5, students with disabilities or in self-contained classrooms would return in early January.
Those in grades 6-12 would return in mid-January.
Rogers' sons won’t be a part of this. Even with the challenges of keeping all three on task as a single father, he says it’s all worth it.
“I’m having to constantly make sure that they’re on task,” he said. “That they’re not doing anything they’re not supposed to do during school. But again, it’s still keeping me more actively involved in just the education aspect and not just extracurricular activities.”
Rogers says he knows what it feels like to experience the loss of taste and smell. He’s faced breathing challenges because of COVID-19.
Having this perspective, Rogers says he won’t feel comfortable sending his kids back to school until the virus clears out.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I don’t think that any child or teacher or anybody deserves to go through this virus until it’s over. We have to be safe.”
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