Jump to virtual learning was a mistake

Published 3:26 pm Saturday, August 22, 2020

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To The Editor:

I have two children that attend Phenix Elementary School. One is in third grade and one is in fifth grade.

I am a Charlotte County employee. I work Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I get home from work around 5 p.m.  I cook dinner for my family. By the time we can begin classwork for the evening it’s 6 p.m. The first night we worked from 5:40 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the first day’s assignments. We did not finish. My children and myself were mentally exhausted.

There is much confusion with there being Google Classroom assignments, worksheets, textbooks, workbooks and YouTube videos to watch. I consider myself computer savvy and Google classroom is not easy to navigate.

I have nothing against teachers. I do however feel that it is unfair to working parents that they can bring their children to school with them daily. My child is left to work on a computer, and they are at school teaching their own children in their classrooms. I must pay a sitter to keep my children during the day because I am not able to bring them to work with me. They are unable to complete the work on their own because they have no idea how to navigate Google Classroom.

Also, I have an issue with having to text the word “present” every day to the teachers via the app. We are told to do this before noon every day. Again, I am a working parent and that is just one more thing that I must remember to do before I head to work.

I ask the school board members to reconsider virtual learning. I believe we should reassess the situation after Labor Day when the children can hopefully be back in the classrooms at least two days a week.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been 54 total cases of COVID in Charlotte County and that number is since April 4. That does not mean there are 54 active cases. We have a very small amount of COVID and as the governor said in his weekly briefing, the same week that Mr. Mason made the announcement to delay school opening, that Central Virginia was doing the best in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia with keeping the COVID numbers low.

In closing, I want to add that COVID is not going away. However, the jump to virtual learning was a mistake. We have so many phone calls, texts and app messages that we are always left wondering, “what’s next?”

Crystal Shepherd