Emotional day for parents as students begin in-person classes

Classroom Progress Report

LANSINGBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rensselaer Park Elementary students are back to in-person learning this week. It’s the first time these students have stepped in the building since March.

“It’s been a really long five-and-a-half months. It’s been hard. It’s hard,” said parent Sara Plummer.

Plummer said it was an emotional day for her as her son Lewis began in-person learning.

“I was waving at the bus this morning and just so excited like it was the first day in September all over again,” Plummer said.

The pandemic and questions about whether the Lansingburgh School District had enough state funding has held off resuming in-person classes for students in grades three through 12. The school board ultimately felt it would be in the best interest of the students to bring them back.

“Remote learning has done its job during the past year, but I think everyone realizes that’s just not a sustainable, viable, model moving forward,” said Superintendent Antonio Abitabile.

Abitabile said parents were surveyed twice to gauge their interest in resuming in-person learning. In August, about 40 percent of parents chose to stay remote. In the most recent survey, that number has fallen to about 20 percent.

“They’ve been out a lot longer than we’ve all anticipated them being. So, I think everyone was ready to get back,” Abitabile said.

Despite losing most of the school year, parents like Plummer said four months of in-person learning is better than none at all.

“Reunited here. We are burgh strong,” Plummer said.

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