Anchorage mom hopes schools will open in-person soon

Laura Sanfacon said it's been hard to keep her 6 year-old twins engaged in online learning.
Laura Sanfacon said it's been hard to keep her 6 year-old twins engaged in online learning.(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 6:34 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District is expected to announce Wednesday that elementary students will return to the classroom in mid-October. The news couldn’t come soon enough for Laura Sanfacon.

Sanfacon’s 6-year-old twins, Bram and Scarlett, are first graders at Rilke Schule, a German charter school in Anchorage that follows the ASD calendar. They’ve been learning online at home, and Sanfacon said it’s been tough.

“We have been with each other since March 24/7, and it feels like complete chaos at our house,” said Sanfacon. “If I am not with them saying, ‘do your school,’ this is what happens.”

Sanfacon said she doesn’t think her children should be expected to sit still at computers for several hours a day. Additionally, their morning lessons are in German, a language their mom doesn’t understand. Sanfacon recognizes that the district halted in-person learning because of COVID-19, but she thinks it’s time to go back.

“I get that they are trying to be safe and do the right thing for everybody,” she said. “But if they’re given the opportunity to do virtual school or kind of in-school, let the people who want to go to school, let them take their kids to school.”

Sanfacon isn’t worried her children will get behind as first graders, but she does worry they are missing out on other important parts of their education by being stuck at home.

“They are supposed to be learning social-emotional things. They are supposed to be interacting with their peers. They’re supposed to be doing more hands-on things. There’s a reason why they do those things in first grade,” she said.

Sanfacon said she’s looking forward to having her children return to school and put the computers away.

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