‘It's Really Hard': Week 1 of Balancing Kids and Work at Home Is in the Books

Massachusetts parents and school districts alike are trying to figure out the logistics while the coronavirus outbreak keeps kids home from school

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Parents have had their hands full this week as they navigated the new coronavirus outbreak with kids home from school. 

Several who we spoke Friday to while taking their kids out to Boston parks for a brief respite from homeschooling and social distancing in the house said they're happy to do it if it means staying healthy. Still, the daily routine is disrupted.

"It’s really hard. We get out but we can’t do the usual things," said Colleen Reynolds, a kindergarten teacher married to a school principal, both now home with three kids while still reaching and teaching their students.

The logistics have been overwhelming, Reynolds said: "How do we reach all these children when not everyone has the same resources available?'

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city's public schools will close Tuesday, March 17, for over a month in an effort to keep students, their families and staff safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

It's a question school districts across Massachusetts are trying to answer, too.

Boston Public Schools, the state's largest school district, has been working to distribute Chromebook laptops to all its students and get them internet access, but Joel Richards, a parent and BPS teacher, estimated that half the students still didn't have theirs.

Getting technology to students so they can connect has never been a more pressing issue, according to Richards.

"We need to sit down and practice what it means for people to connect when they’re not at school. Like, what does education mean right now?" he said.

Coronavirus concerns have shuttered schools across the state of Massachusetts until April 7.
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