By Alexandria Hoff

LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) — Parents rallied Monday night in Chester County, demanding their children be allowed to attend in-person classes. It’s the latest battle over the new normal due to the pandemic.

As the debate over virtual learning continues, the question has really become who has a say in deciding when students return to class physically.

The Lower Merion School District held their regular board meeting, as they have been, through Zoom.

“If you have five kids in your building that are positive and maybe a staff member, are your protocols and the ones they are developing at Lower Merion strong enough?” asked CHOP PolicyLab Director Dr. David Rubin.

The conversation over COVID-19 included guest Dr. Rubin. The PolicyLab has been offering reopening guidance to various school districts across the commonwealth.

“We should not expect, given the rate of community incidents that we are seeing, that there will be a time that we will have zero,” Rubin said.

Lower Merion schools began the year with all-remote learning. As of right now, that will not change prior to Oct. 5.

In Chester County, parents at both Downingtown and West Chester School Districts held a rally together, urging school officials to provide an in-person option for students five days a week.

“My husband and I are fortunate to do tutors and things like that for our daughters but there are a lot of people who don’t have that option,” West Cheste parent Chrissy McFadden said.

“I am doing half the teachers’ job and they are collecting 100% of their paycheck,” Downingtown parent Felix Zvarick said.

In a statement, the Downingtown Area School District told Eyewitness News: “In our current plan, teachers will return to their classrooms on Oct. 12. Students will return in a hybrid model soon thereafter, with elementary students beginning Oct. 26 and secondary students beginning Nov. 9.”

Check out the CHOP’s reference guide for reopening schools here.

Alexandria Hoff