NewsLocal News


Follow the Families: Anticipating the new school year

Some school districts start in two weeks
Posted at 6:51 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 21:51:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- With some local school districts starting distance learning in about two weeks, some parents have been dealing with the emotions that these changes bring.

ABC 10News has been following several local families as they navigate the ups and downs of this unusual year.

Patrick Batten has accepted that the school year will start virtually. “It’s kind of bittersweet. We understand where we are in the situation, so we’re accepting that, but it it’s still upsetting we can’t send our kids back to school yet,” Batten said.

Three of his four children are in the Poway Unified School District. At this point, the district plans to be virtual through December. Knowing that, the Battens are still looking into options on how to make it work with both Patrick and his wife working full-time.

“Even though we’re in the same house, that almost makes it worse. We understand our children need help, but can’t provide it to them,” Batten said, when talking about working at home while the children conduct classes at home. “You feel a sense of helplessness... we have to have somebody that can come in and help us.”

Whatever they decide will be a financial strain, costing their family at least several hundred dollars a month.

Tancy Campbell’s two kids are in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. When ABC 10News spoke to her in July, she agreed with distance learning. Now, she is more conflicted.

“As long as they’re social distanced and properly monitored, maybe it would be okay. While I’m okay with them starting at home currently, I do want the push to get them back into school and on a schedule sooner than later,” Campbell said.

Campbell said there was more computer time than she anticipated for her nine-year-old. She thought there would be more independent assignments.

For her 5-year-old son with autism, she is not sure how beneficial distance learning will be for him. He is on an IEP, or Individualized Education Program.

“He has to have so many minutes of speech and occupational therapy from the school district, so I’m not sure how they’re going to work that in,” Campbell said. She said because of COVID-19, she has noticed her does not want to leave the house and has trouble dressing in regular clothes.

Sweetwater Union High School District started earlier this month. ABC 10News interviewed Gina Chavez, a mother of three, who said the first day was “crazy.”

It is unclear when any of the local districts will be returning to in-person instruction.