SALEM, OR (KPTV) - A private elementary school in Salem is opening its doors to some students next week.
St. Vincent De Paul, a dual language Catholic school, is planning for comprehensive distance learning with limited in-person education.
FOX 12 spoke with parents about why they chose to send their kids back to the classroom.
For many students, they don't have the option of returning to the classroom, as it isn't possible for their school to open under Gov. Kate Brown's latest guidelines. For others, it's a decision they've been given and have had to weigh for weeks.
"You know, I have the same anxiety as any mom would have and I have the same fears as any mom, but I honestly do not feel like me I am fit to teach my daughter," Valentia Campa, a mom, said.
Sending her daughters back to school was not an easy choice, Campa said.
"I wouldn’t say I feel great about my decision or I’m 100% for it and I think other people should send their kids to school, I’m not saying that, I’m saying that its what at this point is what’s gonna work for me," Campa said.
Campa and two other mothers with kids enrolled at St. Vincent De Paul say despite the pandemic, having their children in class is the best option for their families.
"She’s gonna be with the same kids every day for the same time," Pilar Torres, a mom, said. "She’s gonna go from school to home and we’re gonna try our best."
The school's principal says they'll be following a comprehensive distance learning plan with limited in-person education beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8. The principal says students will be assigned cohorts by grade with different days spent inside the classroom. The principal says class sizes will be no larger than 10.
"They need to go to school, they need to develop social and emotional skills," Susana Hernandez, a mom, said. "They need to laugh, they need to play, they need to interact with some other friends. I don’t want my daughters to stay all day in the house with tablets or with TV or cellphone."
But the cost of sending a student back to school this fall may be out of reach for some families. With an annual tuition of $6,500 for students kindergarten through 5th grade at St. Vincent De Paul, Campa says she makes the sacrifice not only because of the benefits of smaller class sizes and faith-based and bilingual learning, but also because she believes the school will keep her daughter healthy.
"If I’m going to send my daughter back to school, its gonna be in a private school where its only 10 students, where they have people disinfecting the classrooms all day," Campa said. "They have a teacher and they have a teacher assistant, right. So, it’s just a more ideal situation for me and for my family."
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