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Flint teachers spend first official day of online classes getting comfortable

Instead of dropping their kids off, parents are driving in to pick up technology for their students who will be learning from home.
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (8/5/2020) – In Flint, classes got underway Wednesday. Flint Community Schools is one of the first districts in mid-Michigan to start the fall term.

The District says all learning will happen online through at least September.

The first day of school looks a little different and a lot quieter this year.

Instead of dropping their kids off, parents are driving in to pick up technology for their students who will be learning from home.

“I can’t believe we’re actually here. It came a little fast, since you know we’re a balanced calendar so we go back earlier than other people,” Karen Christian said. “So I’m a little bit nervous.”

The United Teachers of Flint President said that’s how most of her fellow teachers are feeling.

While Wednesday may be considered the first day of school, she said they’re not teaching lessons just yet. Christian explained they want to make sure the students are comfortable with the new system of learning.

“Can my kids get on? Are parents having issues? What can I do to help them? What can we do to get all the kids on so they can get to meet their teacher online?” Christian shared.

She said this week teachers continue to reach out to each individual student in their class. They’re making sure the students have internet access and know how to work their school-issued Chromebook or tablet.

“All of us teachers are extremely concerned because we’re not we’re not there with them one-on-one. So we’re hoping that as the children experience issues, they’ll reach out and make sure they let us know that they’re having issues that we can try to help them overcome,” Christian said.

She added tech help is available to parents, too, if they need it.

So what will their virtual school day look like?

“For elementary, it’ll be half of the day live instruction with their teachers online. And then, for high school students, it’s 30 minutes for every hour of their six hours that they have to meet with teachers so they’re getting a half a day in with teachers every day,” Christian explained.

If you’re able to help, Christian said the teachers would appreciate any cleaning supply donations. They’d like to be prepared in case students do return to school buildings in the next few months.

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