A mother forced to withdraw her daughter from school because no virtual learning option was available.
As many schools reopened their doors for in-person learning this year, they've done away with virtual learning. With no virtual option, some parents with immunocompromised children are having to leave their school systems and find an education elsewhere.
"We're in a new school and we're excited about it!" exclaims Maranda Cook.
Her 7-year-old daughter, Tessa, could no longer attend Albertville Primary because of her chronic illnesses.
"If Albertville would have had the virtual we would have never withdrew her because it's an amazing school," explains Cook.
But with the coronavirus continuing to rage across Alabama, not all parents want to send their kids back inside the classroom.
"There's so many parents that have kids that just cannot be exposed right now," says Cook.
With no virtual option, Cook was concerned her daughter would miss too much school if she was forced to go back in person, saying, "in kindergarten she had missed like 80 days of school because of her sickness."
So, Cook enrolled Tessa into the online public school, Alabama Destinations Career Academy.
"There's actually teachers teaching them, you know. She's still in class with other students, she gets to see them, she gets to socialize and say hey even though it's online," says Cook.
She's grateful online education is becoming more normal, calling it the one silver lining of the pandemic.
"If the pandemic, if coronavirus had never been a thing I don't think we would have ever considered it and we would have probably missed a lot of school with her and she could have been sick even more," says Cook.
Tessa is excited for her new school, saying she's mostly looking forward to "everything I guess!"
Cook hopes to spread awareness to other parents of children with chronic illnesses, so they know there are other options available for education besides local school districts.
Monday will mark the first full week of classes at Alabama Destinations Career Academy.