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Anonymous Diary Entry 10/15/20

Covid & the Classroom
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x(Jennifer Watkins)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 12:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2020 at 2:48 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -

We have been going strong in our 4 days in-person, 1 virtual schedule. My kids have adapted and the routine of putting on the mask every day to go to school is like putting on shoes before leaving. Every week, we get an update from the Superintendent on the status of the county and specific schools. We are still in a good standing although there have been more cases popping up where some children (sometimes entire classes), teachers, a principal and some bus drivers have to quarantine. I’m worried but not worried. My son has been complaining about kids on the bus not wearing their masks and now some kids in the hallway taking their masks off. People are getting more relaxed with not wearing them, although we need to still follow the safety precautions to make sure this doesn’t get out of control again!

Diary Entry 9/10/20

We are in week three of school and this week is a big milestone for our district! Kids are no longer split up by days by last name and are now going all Monday through Thursday in person and everyone is virtual on Fridays. My kids were excited and it felt more normal again. They got to (safely) ride the bus with the neighbor kids and see other friends in their classrooms that they haven’t seen since last spring. So far, so good!

I’m sure it was a tough decision for a lot of families that had the option to transition their child to in-person learning after Labor Day - it’s kind of like having the first day of school again and from what I could see, there were more families that felt okay with it.

I’m looking forward to see how this week goes with the big changes. Our Superintendent has been adamant about the safety of the children and the staff and of course that is the number one priority.

Diary Entry 8/28/20

As the second week closes for my children’s new school routine - there have been times of smiles and laughter and times of pure frustration and anxiety. Our teachers are doing an amazing job at keeping the virtual learners up to date and on task and the in-person hybrid learners at ease - learning how to switch from in the classroom to at home every other day. I can’t image the work they are putting in to create lesson plans for so many different learning situations, while constantly being available to the virtual students while teaching in in-person students at the same time!!

Our school district “paused” in-person school for our high school yesterday for a mandatory two week virtual/quarantine for all students as the numbers of positive high school aged kids up-ticked just a bit. I can’t help but wonder if middle and elementary schools will go down the same path. One day at a time!

After these first two weeks, I asked my kids what they think about in-person and virtual learning. My son (5th grade) said it bothers him when kids take their masks off on recess, but really likes that they are starting to do “old” things like before as in opening up the library next week with a lot more books! He also loves seeing his friends again. It frustrates him that he can’t just raise his hand with a question when he’s virtual and has to wait about an hour for a response. But the responses give very good direction and really help. My daughter (3rd grade) said that being virtual is nice because she doesn’t have to wait in lines and can use the bathroom whenever she wants! She loves being cozy but things can be distracting at home too. Being in person, she like getting to see her teacher and hear directions and examples in person. And of course seeing her friends and making new friends. :)

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8/24/20 Entry

This is the second week of school for my kids, which is a hybrid of in-person two days a week for half of the alphabet and virtual the other three days. This is a little odd since our neighbor’s kids go on different days, but it makes lots of sense. Bus rides consist of assigned seats with relatives first, then otherwise socially distanced. Hand sanitizer when entering the bus and masks required. My son said that he was one of seven kids on his bus – so I feel like they are doing a good job keeping contact down and spreading out the time when kids go in person. My husband and I had multiple conversations with my kids on their perspectives of going back in person. They have been very excited and both said as long as they are safe – and I feel like they are in our school district.

We are getting use to our virtual days, which consist of assignments and some videos right now. My eleven year son old jumps right onto his google classroom when he gets up; my eight year old needs a little more “reminding.” They both love school and their teachers, so last week was a really positive and exciting time for all of us for them to be back in that environment!

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