Pandemic prompted virtual learning at Jefferson Co. Schools
A rise in coronavirus cases has caused Jefferson County Schools to move to virtual learning for five days before Thanksgiving break.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A rise in coronavirus cases has caused Jefferson County Schools to move to virtual learning for five days before Thanksgiving break.
“I really hate this virtual learning. My kids hate it. I hate it. I don’t feel like they’re learning at all," said Shannon Benson.
The school year has tested Benson and her sons.
“It’s putting more pressure on the parents; it’s putting more pressure on the teachers," explained Benson.
Her fifth and seventh grade students spent most of their time at Jefferson County Schools. But there had also been a handful of days for them to learn from home the fall 2020 semester.
“My youngest has really, really struggled this year in school because it’s a mix between virtual learning and regular learning," said Benson.
Director of Schools, Shane Johnston, saw active cases go up by almost 30 in a week. He said the numbers climbed from 18 active cases on November 6 to 47 active cases on November 13. This resulted in more than 400 people in quarantine.
“The quarantining was what was really hurting our ability to effectively have school," said Johnston.
Beginning Wednesday students will learn from home until after Thanksgiving.
“I’m not thrilled about that at all. I sent my kids to school for a reason," explained Benson, "I understand there’s lots of COVID cases, but there’s also lots of flu cases every year.”
Shannon said her boys have a hard time focusing and worried about Internet issues. Johnston said they were trying to avoid those problems.
“We’re stressing flexibility to our teachers. If students obviously get home and have issues with the internet, we’re going to be flexible," said Johnston, "At the end of the day we want to make sure students have learned the content and not be penalized over the Internet and those things.”
Students internet accessibility has expanded to every school’s parking lot and they have a log in. There were also lab days if they needed additional help.
“It’s to be expected. I mean nobody knows what to do with this year. There’s no right answer," said Benson.
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