A panel of parents, Rochester City School District officers, and educational organizations discussed Tuesday the challenges of remote learning, what resources parents need and how to be successful in the event of another shutdown.

Remote learning can be a challenge for many parents like Maria Cruz who have children with special social needs.

“She suffers from anxiety and she says, ‘mommy I need to be social. I cannot be at home.’ So the fact that we are facing the possibility of being virtual again, I had a conversation with her she’s like please this cannot happen,” said Maria Cruz. PECAN leader, family peer advocate.

The panel was part of Roc the Future’s annual ‘State of Our Children Report Card’ which shows students who felt supported at school dropped more than 60%.

The Rochester City School District is doing all virtual learning, leaders with parent engagement services suggest joining parent groups, setting strict schedules at home, and for parents to build personal relationships with teachers to help overcome the workload.

“Creating a space to walk parents through over the phone as best we can, taking a lot of calls, getting parents set up with parent portal so they can see their child’s grade, attendance…but the biggest part is just being available, being a listening ear,” said Khadjah Muhammad, RCSD Parent engagement.

As we see a spike of COVID-19 cases, schools could extend remote learning, but leaders with Roc the Future say infections have stayed out of school buildings and districts should be creating plans to give the students who need it most in-person learning.

“Those with special needs and Ip’s absolutely should be in school, but I think the next group of students that need to go in are the younger children. Our Pre-k to third grade,” said Kilolo Moyo-White, roc the future”.

This year’s 8th Roc the Future report did show graduate rates over the last several years going up.

The Rochester City School district has said Beginning January-Students with Disabilities in Specialized Programs will be able to attend some in-person learning.

Watch here