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Some families say hybrid model isn't much easier than fully remote learning

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UNION GAP -- Many local schools have begun at least some in person learning for students, but there are still plenty of families struggling and say hybrid learning isn't fixing the problem.

In the beginning of the school year, Action News met with a single working mother whose 7-year-old daughter was really struggling with remote learning because they don't have internet access at home. She says being back in person part time really isn't much easier.

Some families, like Angela Montague's, say they continue to feel overwhelmed with school, even if their kids are back in classrooms part time.

"I think it's more difficult. Honestly they increased the work load for us at home," says Montague. "She was really excited to go back but it sounds like it's just not fun for her to be there. I don't know how to explain it. She's just miserable going to school at this point."

Montague's second grade daughter, Boston, started the school year fully remote, and she says they struggled to access the material without internet in their home.

"It's hard because we don't have a hotspot," says Boston.

She's been back in a hybrid model for a couple of weeks already.

"We just missed so much. I know she's falling behind," says Montague.

Montague says she thought having her daughter finally back in school would help, but she says the challenges are still just as bad, with more and more work piling up.

"It has not gone well. I just don't see her learning or getting much out of it anymore," says Montague.

A new study from Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes finds just how much learning was lost across 19 states in the last four months of the school year last year.

"The learning loss was about a third of the year to an entire year in reading, and in math it could have been up to three fourths of a school year or 232 days even in math, so that's a huge learning loss right there," says Arik Korman with the League of Education Voters.

His organization pushes for educational equity across the state.

Korman says with remote learning, and even hybrid learning, there are cases where the achievement gap is getting even bigger

"So that adds another two years of disparity in some cases. The students who are achieving at lower levels could be two years behind their peers because of the situation that we're in right now, so that's pretty amazing," says Korman.

Montague says she's especially worried to see her daughter who once loved going to school start to not enjoy it anymore.

"She needs other things too. I mean we can't just spend all our time in the evenings doing homework. That's no way to get a kid to like school again that's for sure," says Montague.

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For families struggling, Korman suggests reaching out to your school board or superintendent. He says you could also write to or call your legislator to tell them what you're going through to see if there's any way they can help make sure you get the support you need.

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