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Parents Respond to Online Program Removal from Pasco County Schools

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PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) – Parents in the Pasco County School District are expressing concern after the principal announced that the district will not be offering an online learning program next year.

The program, mySchool Online, was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic and allows students to take their courses online while remaining connected to teachers and peers at their school.

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District employees say 76% of students are enrolled in a traditional school, 21% use the mySchool Online program, and 3% use Pasco eSchool, a district-wide program. Some parents say they’re upset that mySchool Online won’t be available next year, while others say the students need to be back in class.

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Pasco County parent Bianca Sardinas says her daughter loves the program. “They interact very well with children. We were worried that it might hurt her socially, but we play with all the kids in the neighborhood.

Sardinas has a first grade daughter who attends Wiregrass Elementary School as part of the mySchool Online program. Program director Kurt Browning says he won’t be available next year.

“They informed me that there would still be an option to study online, it just won’t be with us and I was really saddened by it,” Sardinas said.

The district says the decision was made after seeing a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in schools, but that is not the Sardinas’ only concern.

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“It was a very difficult kindergarten year for us. We started her at school in person, and every two weeks she had a cold or a stomach virus, ”Sardinas said.

District officials say their data shows many students in the mySchool Online program are struggling both academically and socially, but Sardinas says the program works for his family, adding, “We love Wiregrass because of all the staff. , all the teachers we met. . “

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Pasco County Parent Cheryl Lerman says, “Children need to be away from their parents to learn how to survive and grow and become the independent individuals we choose to raise them.

On the other hand, Lerman, says the students have to go back to school.

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“I saw it crumble in front of my eyes,” Lerman said.

Lerman’s 17-year-old son struggled when schools closed in 2020 and his classes were online.

“It was obvious to us. They want to come back, ”Lerman said.

She believes that face-to-face schooling is the most beneficial way to learn.

“These are their memories of a great time in their life. We cannot go back. They’ve already wasted a year of their time, ”Lerman said.

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CW44’s Casey Albritton has contacted Pinellas and Hillsborough counties to find out what their plans are for the next school year, and district employees say they are currently working on it.

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