Virtual learning an 'impossible situation' for many working parents

Welty Family, June 2020
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 22:03:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A single mom with 3 children is unsure how she’s going to implement Metro’s virtual school plan.

With a 3rd grader, a 5-year-old, and a 4-year-old, Rachel Welty has her hands full. She’s an attorney, and single mom, as her ex-husband is deployed. “I have a nanny for them currently, she’s 19, she’s great, but I also don’t know if the crux of schooling them needs to be put on her either.”

Due to the pandemic, Metro Nashville Public Schools will start the school year virtually. “I totally understand that it’s potentially dangerous for kids to go to school, it’s also an impossible situation for a working parent.”

Rachel is talking to other Sylvan Park Elementary parents to figure out what to do if they don’t work from home.

“I’m getting together with another momma today, and we’re visiting a church around the corner that has a building that isn’t used any day other than Sunday," Welty said, "And even in that there’s the opening of the bubble, and that’s really scary.”

Joining students together defeats the purpose of social distancing, but it may be her only option.

According to an MNPS spokesperson, guardians who can't work from home can look into daycare, and they’re working with those facilities on the virtual learning plan. Metro Schools posted other suggestions to their website too. One of them includes a babysitting co-op.

“I luckily can afford to have childcare, but I don’t know what a mom in my situation who makes $10 an hour or $12 an hour, I don’t know how she does that,” Welty said.

The state has funding for childcare for low income families and essential workers, but Welty said many places are full. Some parents are planning to bring their kids to gymnastic centers to do virtual school.

“It’s going to cause a lot of problems for people.”Rachel will continue looking for a better solution for her family. “It’s frustrating that we don’t have more community support.”

More information on the state’s childcare payment assistance program here.