As Madison County Schools shift to hybrid learning, mom worries about social challenges

The switch between virtual and in-person learning is a learning curve for everyone.

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 6:48 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2020 7:32 PM

A spike in coronavirus cases will send Madison County School System students out of classrooms full-time through at least until Dec. 18.

This change to a hybrid schedule starts Thursday, Dec. 3.

That means students will alternate between in-person and remote learning to reduce the number of people in buildings at the same time.

WAAY 31 spoke with one parent who said her family is learning to deal with what are starting to feel like constant changes.

We spoke with a mom who has three daughters who attend Monrovia Middle School. She told us since the school year started, her kids haven't stayed in a physical classroom for more than 2 weeks at a time, and while her job allows her to work from home, it's still a struggle.

"We haven't had any issues with them being able to do their school work, but as far as not knowing whether they're going to be home or at school, we just don't know day to day," said Casey Willis.

Willis and daughters Adley and Jocie say this year has not been ideal, but they're trying to make due.

One thing that's working is the easiness of not having the girls' school work disrupted. They told us whether they're in school or working from home, in 7th grade, it's all the same.

"All of our work is on the computer. Basically, the only difference between virtual school is we're not sitting in a classroom because most of the work is all online. They tell you what the assignment is, you go on the computer and do it," said Adley and Jocie.

As of Nov. 25, the last time data was published, more than 1,600 Madison County students and employees are in quarantine for coronavirus, and more than 100 have tested positive for the virus.

The district said that's what led to the decision to go hybrid for all schools later this week.

Five of the district's schools already are on remote-only learning due to coronavirus: Monrovia elementary and middle schools, Endeavor Elementary, Meridianville Middle and Hazel Green High School.

That impacts Willis' children, and she says the strain is impacting their social skills.

"I did like normal school better, like actually like talking-wise and all of that," said Jocie. 

"Even though they get to go to school and are with their peers, but their interaction is pretty limited," said Willis.

But still, Willis said she hopes these changes keep everyone as safe as possible.

"Safety is number one and they're all doing the best they can," she said.

All five schools in the county that are virtual right now will remain that way until cleared by principals. Then, they'll go on the hybrid schedule.

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