Parents in Limestone County experience issues with virtual school program

The district tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton some students will not be able to start their online classes until a teacher is hired. We asked when that would be, and haven't heard back yet.

Posted: Aug 12, 2020 10:23 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2020 11:00 PM

Parents and students enrolled in Limestone County's virtual school program expected that Wednesday would be their first day of school, but for several of them, it wasn't.

That's because the district is still trying to hire teachers for the program, and some parents tell us they still don't have information on how to access the system, and in some households, parents say one of their children is set up for access, but the other isn't.

The district tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton some students will not be able to start their online classes until a teacher is hired. We asked when that would be, and haven't heard back yet.

The system's coordinator for virtual school sent an email to parents this morning saying students will not be penalized for the delay.

"The students were supposed to start today, and as of today, they didn't have teachers," said parent, Abbie Brown.

Abbie Brown created a Facebook Page for parents in Limestone County's virtual program a few weeks ago, and on Wednesday, posts came pouring in about issues parents were experiencing.

"These students in the same household have a teacher and a log-in but these students don't have a teacher and log-in," said Brown.

It's a problem parent Leah Smith is dealing with.

"I do have an email address for her to log in, I do not have a password, my son, I don't have either," said Smith.

She says she has sent district employees emails asking for help logging into her 5th and 6th graders' classes.

"My son, I have no idea who his teacher is because whenever they respond, it comes from five emails and I don't know which one is his. All I've gotten, I said 'I don't have Pete's login information and they say, we don't have it either,'" said Smith.

Limestone County Schools says the class login information will come directly from a student's teacher, but with the district still hiring teachers even after the first day of school, students will have to wait to get started.

"Keep emailing people that I don't even know are my son's teachers and asking them questions that they don't know the answer to," said Smith.

Login information and the teacher shortage aren't the only issues. Parent Paige Lanier says it took hours for her 10th grader's classes to be uploaded.

"Today has been a waste for him because he hasn't been able to do any of his work," said Lanier.

Parents say they hope the district fixes these issues as soon as possible.

"It's like the unknown and I think it's scary for them," said Lanier.

"Hopefully it will straighten itself out, but I worry that it won't," said Smith.

The district says it will reach out to students over the next few days to go over this year's procedures and schedule adjustments.

We also asked how many virtual teacher vacancies the district has and we are waiting for that information.

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