Crestwood virtual plans face mounting frustration

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WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Nothing about this school year has been easy, and certainly the best laid plans by districts have been met with optimism and scrutiny.
Many in the Crestwood School District say figuring out how to reopen safely has been the biggest challenge over the past few months.

The original plan of a full, in-person return was nixed from the start as guidance and COVID-19 concerns plagued the start of school year. Bill Kane not only teaches social studies, but represents more than 160 educators in the district. He attests a full-virtual curriculum has proven difficult for them and their students.

“Student engagement is more difficult it’s definitely easy to engage kids live,” he said. “They’re missing important benchmarks that, you know, they might not be able to make that up.”

Families in the district have grown more frustrated after the school board voted down a proposal for moving to a hybrid online and in-person model. The Feist family have tried to set up the best schoolwork environment at home, but say it’s not working well for themselves and other families. They say it’s time to get back in the buildings.

“I would sign a waiver if I had to. Their education is worth the shot. It just is to me,” said Crestwood parent Emil Feist. “There’s just as much risk and all the other things.”

Braylen Feist, a junior Comet cheerleader and aspiring medical student, says if contact sports are good to go, there’s no reason to keep kids away from precautioned classes.

“I understand. I play sports too,” she said. “But I’m also worried about going into college and having good grades and learning material that I’m going to use for the next few years to continue my career.”

The district facing more time learning online; students and educators, alike, weighing risk of a virus versus in-person education.

“There are legitimate points on both sides,” said Kane. “We should be working toward a return face to face, but we should also be doing it as academically and safely as possible.”

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