DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The coronavirus outbreak has students across North Texas now adjusting to a new normal and for many that means learning online.
“It was interesting,” says Elias Vasquez, a freshman in the North Lake Early College program. “Fun to have the new system. I think it’s been alright.”
Dallas ISD, the largest school district in North Texas, is back from spring break and being put to the test this week.
“It’s been a little bit rough since you can’t talk to them in person,” says Vasquez and then adding that friends have helped him get connected.
DISD leaders are also working on a plan to connect the roughly 12,000 middle and high school students whose families have no internet access at home.
Still, Vasquez’s mother say she appreciates that the district has worked quickly in the midst of the crisis, sending secondary students home with laptops when they left for spring break.
“I understand the elementary had remote packets that they took home,” says Carmen Alvarado-Vasquez. “So it’s good to see that the district was on it right before spring break, just being ready for it in case it happened, and it did happen, and now a lot of the kids have what they need to continue their education, although it’s not perfect, because it’s the first time, the district is still addressing those that didn’t get computers and stuff like that.”
Teachers and staff at the front lines of caring for district families, whether that’s distributing meals or hurriedly-assembled materials are reminding frazzled parents that structure, helps.
“Make your kids get up, have breakfast, have lesson time, give them a specific lesson time,” says Sandi Massey, Principal at Thomas Jefferson High School, who also encourages parents to include exercise in the daily plan and above all, stay positive.
“We are a resilient nation and we will get through this,” says Massey.