Families struggle to adapt to remote learning as schools change course on in-person classes

By | November 11, 2020

A rise in COVID-19 numbers has more and more schools turning to virtual learning.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As schools make a difficult decision on whether students should be learning in the classroom or online, families are doing their best to adapt. 

There are several families in our community who understand the reason for remote education while others say students are being robbed of a better education.

Ottowa Hills Elementary School student Thomas Lathrop says he prefers in-person classes because of all the distractions with remote learning. 

“It’s hard. I’ve gotten pretty used to it but yeah, it’s hard,” Lathrop said. 

The pandemic has changed the way students learn out of the classroom and online. This means parents have become teachers, or at least try.

Ginny Cook isn’t a teacher but says she is doing her best to work with her great-nephew who has special needs.

“(It’s) A patience process. I’ve definitely never been a teacher. And to do it now, some of the things I don’t even understand, and it’s basically Pre-K work,” Cook said. 

A recent Stanford University study found remote learning during this pandemic could put students anywhere from three to 14 months behind in school. 

“I’m teaching her like the basics of fundamentals like reading, writing, math. But I feel like, in school, she could learn about like the elements, and the seasons and different science projects. What causes a balloon to float,” said Shanea Smith, a mother of a 5-year-old little girl. 

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But there is some help in communities. 

Places like the Sylvania Stem Center have started programs such as the “Remote Learning Lab” which allows a little more than one dozen students to learn in-person while parents go to work.

“It worked really well because, here, it wasn’t home for the kids. So, like here they were still going someplace to learn and they had a schedule. You know, they knew, alright, (At) 8, I need to log on for math. And (at) 9, I need to be there for this and that,” said Tom Burnworth, the executive director at the Sylvania Stem Center. 

Not long ago, the center stopped the lab after Sylvania Schools announced plans to return back to the classroom.

But more cases means more big decisions for school districts in an effort to keep students and staff safe.

“I know the schools are stuck and you know, I’m not pointing the finger at them in anyway. But it’s hard on the kids and the parents,” Burnworth said. 

For districts like Sylvania, the decision has a monumental impact. Leaders released a statement last week reading, “A school is a social system in which people interact with and take care of each other. Our number one priority is student and staff health and wellness.”

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“Hang in there. There’s an end somewhere. There will be an end to this but just have patience,” Cook said. 

RELATED: Bedford Public Schools suspends all in-person learning to transition to fully remote

RELATED: TPS switches to remote learning starting Nov. 16

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