Local News

Students at Raleigh's school for the blind adjust to the pandemic

Posted October 16, 2020 6:34 a.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2020 7:07 a.m. EDT

— The Governor Morehead School for the blind in Raleigh is uniquely qualified to teach students under difficult scenarios. Remote learning is another challenge that the school is determined to come out of strong.

Elijah McCullough, 14, a student at Morehead, is a legally blind. McCullough has to get up close to his computer screen to see his classmates and teachers in his virtual classroom.

Before the pandemic, McCullough was excited about the promise of his first year living on campus at the Governor Morehead School in Raleigh, even though it’s just a few miles from his home. The school serves students with vision impairment from across the state.

McCullough had to settle for remote learning from the lobby of the child care center where his mom works. His mother, Anjail Mohammed, enjoys helping him but admits that it is not easy.

"It takes me away from work and on top of all that, I’m a full time student at Meredith," Mohammed said.

All of the 43 vision impaired students at the Morehead school are working through the same struggle.

Matthew Mescall, the school's principal, said that it's difficult to serve students from all across the state.

"Just distributing equipment is a big challenge," Mescall said.

Staff members have to drive across the state to distribute laptops, braille paper and other braille education products to help students participate and connect with the classwork.

Virtual learning also means there are glitches, and the tech staff often have to drive long distances to assist Morehead students.

The theme during the 2020 school year, according to Mescall, is "resiliency, empowerment and determination."

The lack of physical contact has been a big change for students at the Morehead school. Elijah McCullough misses being close to his friends but is still staying resilient.

"It feels kind of strange but I have to get used to it because we’re in that time," he said.

Mescall said there is hope the students can return to school safely after the holidays.

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