‘There is no perfect solution’: Parents react to MMSD’s decision to continue virtual learning, Boys & Girls Clubs think about opening during day

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Metropolitan School District has made the decision to keep students learning virtually until at least January 22, 2021.

While some are upset about the decision, parent Jenn Tucker-Rygiewicz said when she heard the announcement her main feeling was relief.

“Sending my child into a classroom right now when transmission rates and cases are at the highest that they’ve ever been, it could be potentially disastrous for my entire family,” said Tucker-Rygiewicz. “Is this a perfect solution? Is this what we wanted? No. But I truly to believe that MMSD is making this decision in the best interest of the community as a whole.”

Tucker-Rygiewicz said she knows she is privileged to be able to stay home with her kindergartener. She knows others aren’t able to do that.

“This is a hard time for everybody. There is no perfect solution,” said Tucker-Rygiewicz.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County said even their staff members are struggling to come back to work because they have no one to watch their own children.

“How are we being flexible and ensuring that our parents, especially our single parents who don’t have an extensive support system, how are we supporting them in coming back to work? We’re looking at options for providing childcare for them and having a group just for staff and their children,” said Dr. Sarah Ghee, Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County Chief Operating Officer.

The clubs are only open for after school programs right now, but Ghee said that might have to change because of MMSD’s decision.

“We haven’t actually committed to being open in the day time for students due to budgetary restrictions and part time staff, but we will be considering that,” said Ghee.

Still, the clubs would have limited spots open because of public health restrictions. Right now the non-profit is stretched thin trying to distribute food, get students the computers and internet access they need, and help them with virtual learning through its online platform.

Tucker-Rygiewicz is trying to find the silver lining in all of this, especially for her daughter.

“She’s learning adaptability, she’s learning resilience too. And that’s something I think, those skills are going to benefit her for the rest of her life,” said Tucker-Rygiewicz.