PINELLAS, Fla — If you’re a parent you know this school year has been tough on students.
“I got a letter for one of my children from the high school saying there was a possibility that they could be retained because they weren’t being successful,” said Tracey McConnell.
As a second grade teacher and mother of two students in Pinellas County Schools, Tracey McConnell knows firsthand the impact the pandemic is having on student's success.
"They're in the classroom the teacher is there but they're not going over and working with students up close and personal," McConnell said.
She made the decision to keep her children learning from home.
“I don’t see any reason for me to send him back to school, because he’s going to struggle whether he is in school face to face or if he’s at home,” she explained.
A new poll by the Florida Education Association shows 86% of teachers agree that students are struggling, regardless of whether they are learning in-person or virtually.
Educators are calling for a reboot of the state’s education priorities.
The president of Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association said to support student's success through this pandemic, the focus needs to be on learning and not standardized testing.
“They’re not taking into account that the students in some cases are not performing up to par because they are also riddled with whatever is going on in their lives, in their homes,” said Nancy Velardi, President Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association.
The fact that teachers were directed to return to classrooms, but were not prioritized for vaccinations is another concern of educators. They would like to limit the number of students in the classroom if teachers aren’t vaccinated.