The start of school is often emotional as families make the transition from summer to serious learning, but this year takes the cake for Milton parents such as Shonda Sumpter.
Sumpter and her husband, Eugene Sumpter, made the decision to send both of their sons back to their respective Milton public schools this fall under the hybrid model.
Since then, she has wavered on only one detail.
“I signed my fifth-grader up for the bus. Then I declined the bus,” said Sumpter on a recent evening from her home on Dexter Street.
In light of the pandemic, public school parents in Milton were given a choice between having their children attend school in person every other day in the morning and attend remotely in the afternoon or, go with a fully remote program.
Those eligible were also asked to indicate whether they planned on taking the school bus this year.
Sumpter said her reversal on the bus came after she learned there will not be monitors and her fifth-grader would be riding with younger children who, she feared, may not remember to maintain social distancing and keep on their masks.
“I know what the schools should be doing and I know what my kids should be doing,” said Sumpter of the couple’s two sons: Chandler, a fifth-grader at Glover Elementary School, and Jordan, who is in the ninth grade at Milton High School. Jordan will continue to walk to school.
Sumpter said she has repeated the needs for safety to them: wear masks; wash hands; and maintain social or physical distance from other people.
As a practice administrator for a hospital satellite campus, Sumpter has drilled others about safety protocols and procedures in opening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is pleased with the multi-layered approach that the Milton Public Schools are taking to ensure the students’ safety.
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