Parents, grandparents prepare for school closures due to coronavirus

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Many parents and grandparents around the state went to their after school pickup as usual, but with one big change: it would be the last pick up for several weeks. 

"My own personal opinion is I think it’s an overreaction," said Charles Tamargo, who was picking up his granddaughter in St. Francis. 

His daughter, he said, will be able to work from home during the closure. 

Emily Stokes said while she's a stay-at-home mom, she's concerned for other parents who have to work around their jobs. 

"I’m fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom, but it was a big concern because for one, it makes it more real that this is really going on," she said about the decision to close schools in St. Francis through April 13. 

"We don’t want it to get worse and if a month away from school prevents it from spreading more, then okay," Stokes said. 

"Frankly, I wasn’t surprised, they seem to be doing a lot more of it around the country and I think part of it is they want to be cautious,  maybe overcautious, but I think better safe than sorry," added Diane Brody, who was picking up her granddaughter. 

"It’s still kind of like shock that all schools are closing," said Criselda Valerio, who said she's seen other friends posting online about activities to do with children during the closure. 

Some parents said they were working on figuring out how to get the time off to be home with their kids. 

"They’re going to let us know if we are able to take a leave I have tons of vacation time so I might have ot use that," said Kiara Clayton, who was picking her child up outside of Glendale Heights Childcare, a center that plans to stay open. 

"We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls some parents have chosen to keep their kids home, some are happy that we’re open so they can go to work," said Glendale Heights Childcare owner and administrator Cheryl Peters. 

Peters said she met with several other daycare administrators to discuss how to move forward during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"It’s something all the childcare centers are taking seriously because we want to protect the children, make sure they’re staying healthy," she said. 

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin says they've been in contact with districts about how they can help, too. 

"We know that not just those kids are going to be missing meals, but we know teachers aren’t going to be going into school and we know outside of that, parents are going to have to take off of work, perhaps parents that aren’t going to be able to take paid time off who are also going to be missing paychecks," said Scott Marshall, Director of Development with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. 

Marshall said Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is also feeling the impact of the coronavirus. 

School districts are also working on providing meals during the closures. For more information, click here. 

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