Tuesday was the first day of school for the Mobile County Public School System, the largest school system in Alabama.
It was a first day unlike any other with empty school buildings and students meeting their teachers and classmates at home on their devices.
For students enrolled in MCPSS, they’ll be learning online for at least the first nine weeks.
“It’s sad. I’m just gonna imagine that when I’m teaching to them virtually that they are actually sitting in my class,” says Pamela Haines, an eighth grade math teacher at Pillans Middle School.
Along with virtual learning comes problems with technology.
Jacinda Hollins, the Principal at Pillans Middle School, says they are working with each family to resolve any issues they may be having.
“I don’t think WiFi will be an issue. As far as the chromebooks, even though a parent may not have received a chromebook, you can also access Schoology on your phone, on a tablet, on an ipad, on a laptop, because its a web browser,” says Hollins.
The school system has set up WiFi buses throughout the county to help with families having internet issues.
Additionally, the Mobile County Public School System says they are continuing to monitor COVID-19 cases throughout the county and will determine if it is safe for students to return to school after the initial nine weeks of virtual learning.
MCPSS says when they deem it safe for students to return to the classroom, parents will have the option to send their child back to school or keep them at home and continue doing virtual learning.
Principal Hollins says when students return to the classroom, the teachers will be rotating classrooms instead of the students to ensure there is adequate social distancing in the hallways and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.