Lakeland school parents create committee to support resumption of full-time in-person learning

Parents in the Lakeland school district have created a committee to support the resumption of in-person learning five days a week.
The hundreds of parents are urging Lakeland Central Schools to allow students back in classrooms full time for the sake of mental health.
A total of 700 district parents participated in their survey. The data showed that the overwhelming majority say they would commit their child to in-person learning for the rest of the school year.
"The survey initially started as a way to gauge parent's interests in returning to school full-time, but it has almost morphed into the mental health crisis that is facing these kids," says parent Dan Knoblich.
A letter was drafted with about 30 pages filled top to bottom, with comments from hundreds of parents about how their children are doing this school year.
Many say they are lacking social interaction, showing signs of anxiety and depression and some are even falling behind.
"The response has been overwhelming and the hope is that the letter shows the district that parents, teachers and the administration should come together as equal stakeholders in the process to reopen schools," says Knoblich.
Lakeland schools are currently running on a hybrid model - students are in the classroom two days and online for three.
In a statement, the superintendent of Lakeland Schools said in part, "With the increase in vaccination availability and rapid testing supplies, as well as the declining case positivity rates, we are hopeful that the NY DOH will provide updated and…unambiguous guidance to schools on the issue of social distancing in the near future. I look forward to providing an update to the Board of Education at next Thursday's meeting."
Parents are planning to discuss the open letter with the Board of Education at the meeting.