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My wife and I were disheartened to learn that Sumner County schools are likely to open with the hybrid method of learning consisting of two days in class/three days online per week. 

That might work in high school--and maybe even middle school--but I can't imagine my elementary school learners keeping pace with three days/week of online schooling. We have plenty of tech devices at home, and my wife and I are fortunate to have the time (and requisite education) to help our children learn. 

But our spring experience was abysmal. Bouncing between three children with three different taskings and vaguely-defined assignments was frustrating for all involved. Getting a kindergartner to focus in front of a computer for hours a day is asking a lot. I don't expect it will go much better with a first grader.

We firmly believe that elementary school education needs to take place IN PERSON. We understand some teachers, administrators and parents are fearful of returning to school. 

We are equally fearful of the educational consequences to our children of keeping them home three days/week. Online learning is not what our children need. Truly, if school is not an ESSENTIAL "business" worthy of staying OPEN with the proper cleaning protocols, what is?

I am well aware you can find online proselytizers who can make effective cases on both sides of the returning to school arguments. And I am glad you are offering an all-online version to those children/parents/guardians/employees who have sound reasons to keep themselves isolated. 

But my children NEED classroom instruction to learn. And I suspect the vast majority of Sumner parents feel the same way and are eager for five-day-a-week, in-person classroom learning to resume.

The bottom line? We are far more fearful of the adverse impacts this hybrid learning will have on our children than we are worried of the virus.

Thank you for serving our schools and our community. Please do all you can to get our students back into our schools so their Real Learning can resume. Our children, community and nation depend on it.

Todd Manning,



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