Remote learning prompts concerns for families, teachers

Posted March 23, 2020 6:27 p.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2020 12:55 p.m. EDT

— With public schools closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, some districts have already started online learning, and others are in the process.

It’s a new thing for many, and there are still questions.

Many parents and teachers are taking to social media to express their concerns, asking questions about wifi connectivity, tools not being provided for students and a lack of planning for missed school days.

Wake County Public School System, the state’s largest district, launched online learning resources on Friday. Students are encouraged to log on and review resources and activities, but it’s not mandatory or graded at this time.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are currently on spring break. Remote learning kicks off next week, and schools are working with parents to help them through the process.

The district has provided Chromebooks and wifi for middle and high school students to get their work done.

Some districts, like Cumberland County Schools, handed out information packets last week.

Chatham County Schools launched an at-home learning website.

“Everything is so up in the air for all of us — the district and just people in general with the uncertainty of what’s coming and when this will all be over," said Alexandra Brinson, a parent with children at North Chatham Elementary School. "They’ve put together resources for us, and for the most part everyone is trying to take it as they come.”

“I definitely get some students will have issues with internet connectivity, but, you know, we’re in uncharted territory for everybody,” said Christ Hart, teacher at Chatham Central High School.

With the situation being so new, schools understand there will be some hiccups along the way and are doing their best to communicate with parents and staff.

“Information changes by the hour," said Jeff Nash, public information officer with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. "Every night, we’re sending an email from the superintendent to staff just with updates because there’s so many decisions that need to be made as we move along.”

The State Board of Education voted to cancel required tests this school year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mark Johnson, the state's superintendent, suggested parents keep their children on a routine to keep them engaged in their learning.

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