SEATTLE — Parents attending an open house at K-5 STEM at Boren Tuesday night were concerned about how their kindergartners will adapt to school. They’re also concerned about when that will actually happen. Many say they were surprised to hear the year might not start on Sept. 4 as planned.
“I didn’t even think about the possibility,” says parent Cherlyn Crowl. “To receive an e-mail today when it’s a week away, and we won’t find out until literally the night before school starts, I can’t believe it.”
The district has asked parents to develop backup plans if there is a teachers strike and classes are not able to start Sept. 4. The problem is parents don’t know how long they might need those backup plans.
“Wednesday is my day off and Thursday I work from home,” says Holly Anselm. “If it goes to Friday, it could be a little bit of an issue. I’m going to have to call friends and see who might be able to babysit or watch him for the day.”
“In my family, it would be OK because I stay at home with the kids,” says Jen Boisoneau, another parent. “But I can imagine with other families, that would cause a lot of problems.”
“I’m worried with the impact on my job, my career. I’m a single parent and child care is not cheap,” says Cessa Heard-Johnson. “But I know as a society we don’t value education enough; we don’t pay teachers enough.”
Many parents shared that opinion. They say although a strike would be an inconvenience, they understand what teachers are fighting for.
“We’ll just have to make slight arrangements and we’ll deal with it,” says Marc Logue, a former teacher. “I think the issues they’re dealing with are important.”
As for the timing of this negotiation, parents are trying to be understanding.
“That’s the way it goes. It’s just bad planning all the way around,” says Anselm. “But as a former teacher, I understand how that works.”