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Uncertainty over schools has some local parents looking for different options

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — There are still a lot of questions as to how schools will look this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty has some parents looking to options other than public schools for their kids’ education.

“Coronavirus isn’t going away, so are we going to be shut down in another two weeks and where things are just kind of thrown up in the air again and the kids are suffering?” said parent Dayna Brown.

Brown has seven children, and four of them are still in school. She said this coming year, she’s planning to keep her high schoolers enrolled in public school but will move her eighth and first grader to a private online school.

“I don’t fault the teachers or the district. We were all just pushed into this crazy time we’re in right now and I don’t feel like the two younger ones progressed much,” she said.

Brown also said she wanted to make sure her younger children had consistent routines and that likely wouldn’t happen this year in a public school setting.

Leanna Smith is looking at private online options for her son too. She said she thinks the flexible school schedule will do more harm than good as some schools consider hybrid options where half of students are in class for part of the week and the other half are at home.

“The last thing I want is for him to end up hating school over the rest of his life just because he’s had a bad year and he’s at a very impressionable age,” Smith said.

Brown said that several schools she looked at were filling up quickly, but her kids are set to attend Oregon Charter Academy in the fall.

“A lot of online charter schools already have waiting lists and I signed up for a bunch of them but luckily the one we wanted to go with, we got them into, so it worked out perfectly,” Brown said.

Some private school leaders said that interest is up at this time compared to previous years, but enrollment numbers are still consistent with what they usually see.

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