Birmingham parents react to the first day of school and learning virtually

BCS parents on first day of virtual learning

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham City Schools started school September 8 with the entire district learning virtually.

The parents we spoke to told WBRC they had reservations about how virtual learning would work and if their children would get the education they needed to achieve, but after the first day, they were excited about the next few weeks.

Parent Amie Holder has a daughter is in the second grade at Barrett Elementary School. Using the district-issued Chromebook, she said her daughter had a smooth first day.

“Surprisingly, she knew how to maneuver it better than what I thought. Because they were using it in school,” Holder said.

Holder said she enjoyed having more accessibility to her child’s teacher.

“You can instantly talk to the teacher like you and I are talking,” she said as she spoke to WBRC by Zoom. “That makes it so much easier and if I have any questions, I have the teacher right there. I’m able to talk to her and ask questions. That’s a plus for me.”

Parent Marquette Golightly says having a teacher lead instruction eased her concerns about her children staying engaged and retaining information.

Golightly has a fifth grader at Oxmoor Valley Elementary and a ninth grader at Wenonah High School. She said the elementary school prepped parents and walked them through the process of logging into the system before the first day of school.

For her ninth grader, she said it was a bit of an adjustment.

“It still flowed smoothly but I feel like it could’ve been a bit more organized and sent out earlier so the high schoolers could’ve attended their classes today,” she said.

Neither of Golightly’s children had city-issued devices by the start of school. She said they were using their personal laptops.

The Birmingham system is still handing devices out to students and administrators say they plan to have them distributed by the end of the week.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan said if students or parents have trouble logging into their virtual classroom, they can use the parent academy on the official website or call the tech hotline (205) 231-4747.

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