One year later: How schools have adjusted through the COVID-19 pandemic

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – COVID-19 has been overwhelming for many– particularly students.

“I feel like a lot of us, we just miss you know, being a regular high schooler. Having activities such as pep rallies and just conversating with our friends and having those one on one times with our teachers,” Essence Baker, 11th grader at Germantown High School.

She’s going to class in-person, but it’s not the same as it was before the pandemic.

“It is a little harder with the mask. Teachers are having to repeat things and some teachers have these bubbles around their desk when they’re trying to be cautious so we can’t hear them as well and have to repeat a lot of our questions,” said Essence.

Teachers had to adapt as well. Prior to the pandemic, virtual learning wasn’t a thing. Now it’s common. Taylor Hilderbrand teaches English, he said it was a learning experience.

“It was all new so the district pulled us in, created virtual teams.” butt with “We were trained with Microsoft teams so there was a lot of work behind the scenes to help us prepare for it,” said Taylor.

When COVID-19 first hit, districts nationwide went virtual, Madison County Schools said it had to act quickly.

“We made the decision to move to virtual following spring break last year.”

For some, learning at home wasn’t easy.

“Being home I feel had more distractions because I’m a person who loves being in the classroom with my teacher. Being able to ask questions hands on. But with virtual I have to go through email and wait for them to reply back,” said Essence.

Essence Baker said she was thrilled to go back this past fall, no matter the restrictions.

“Even with my mask i am happy to be here. Our school has taken every precaution to make sure we are safe.”

The student teachers and staff with Madison County School are all optimistic about the future. They are also proud of how the school has been able to adapt with COVID.

Virtual learning is commonplace during the pandemic and it likely won’t be going away even when the pandemic is over.

A survey done by the Rand Corporation found that 20 percent of districts and charter schools planned to keep remote learning options after the pandemic. Remote learning is an option for school districts when students can’t attend in because of the weather so the days of the snow day may be numbered as well.

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