Sparta school parents voice concerns on how to adjust to district’s suddenly shutting down

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) – As we’ve reported, the Sparta Area School District announced they are switching to online learning starting Monday.

The Monroe County Health Department placed the county in a “red” level from a spike in COVID-19 cases.

In addition, there are 23 active cases at Sparta schools.

Some parents are now concerned how they’ll have to adjust to this sudden change to virtual learning.

“So I have a 7th grader with a specific learning disorder,” Jennifer Kondor said, who is a mom of two. “And then I have a 9th grader who is autistic and ADHD.”

In-person learning has been to their benefit when they’ve had the chance.

Learning online, though, is making life hard for both her 7th-grade daughter and 9th-grade son.

“She’s failing a couple of her classes because she can’t keep up,” Kondor said. “The more electronic use he gets, the more increase in rage that we see.”

She says the district shutting down so suddenly is the wrong move for her kids.

“I can’t put into words the frustration that they’re feeling,” Kondor said.

School leaders were hoping a closure this soon wouldn’t happen.

“We want kids in the building learning,” superintendent Amy Van Deuren said. “You know, teachers want our kids in the building learning…But we all want to be safe.”

The school’s threshold to stay open for learning is under 25 per 100,000 weekly positive cases in the county. This week’s case count is barely above that threshold. But Van Deuren¬†says the bulk of the cases are in Sparta.

“This is hard,” Van Deuren said. “There’s not a good answer.”

Joseph Frisk has three kids of his own, and has to work around his work schedule.

“It certainly becomes a last-minute scheduling disaster, to put it lightly,” Frisk said.

But he says most parents are not so fortunate with their jobs.

“These people are punching a clock, and they don’t have a choice but to be there from 7-5,” Frisk said. “So it places parents as a whole between a rock and a hard place.”

For Kondor and her kids, she’s taking everything one day at a time.

“Right now, it’s just take a deep breath and we’ll get through it together,” Kondor said. “I mean, I don’t have any words for them. I don’t know.”

Van Deuren says if cases start going down, she’s hoping Sparta schools will reopen in one to two weeks.