Back to school: Why some SoCal parents are opting to keep kids in remote school

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thousands upon thousands of SoCal students are heading back to school. Some families are all in for in-person learning, while others have chosen to stay remote.

For many parents and their children, heading back to in-person learning for new school year will be a welcome relief from the stress of remote learning they endured throughout the pandemic.

But while some students struggled in a virtual setting, Rosanna Perez says her three children thrived in it.

"They've been doing better actually home schooling than they were doing in school," Perez said.

She admits in the beginning it was hard until they established a routine.

Due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19, Perez is now among a growing number of parents who are not letting their children return to the classrooms this fall, opting instead to return them to a digital one.

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"Just to be on the safe side, they all have pre-existing conditions. They all have asthma. So, in my opinion it is best to keep them out. Since they have been out of school they have not gotten sick at all," Perez said.

Alicia Baltazar's 11-year-old son will also continue with remote learning as he heads into the 5th grade, but for a different reason.

"As an immune compromised parent, I have to keep myself safe. As a single parent, I am all he's got. So if something happens to me, I can't imagine how I am going to leave him," said Baltazar, a Wilmington resident.

In Los Angeles County, school districts have been told to prepare for both in-person and remote students.

"We've come a long way and we have learned a lot. Many students have excelled and some students have said they prefer remote learning. So, we are going to leave it up to the individuals to decide what works best for them," said Dr. Debra Duardo, L.A. County's superintendent of schools.

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Drawing on lessons from the pandemic, school districts are better prepared to offer additional support to students and their parents.

For Baltazar's son, he is getting counseling to deal with the loss of both family and friends to COVID-19.

"The school has been very accommodating for us. He has speech therapist who has even called on the phone when the internet wasn't working well. He's had counseling to help him workout the anxiety," Baltazar said.

After two consecutive disrupted school years, schools will be to focusing this fall on catching students back up both in the classrooms and online.

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