Birmingham City School family talks virtual learning

A day in the life of virtual learning

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Students in Birmingham City Schools are now in their second week of virtual learning. We’re checking in with families about what the day looks like.

“We have social emotional learning from 8:10-8:30," said Carter Jackson, a 5th grader at Princeton Elementary.

Carter walked us through his virtual learning his day. His teacher and his twin brother’s teacher outlined a schedule for students to follow. Core classes like math and science are taught in the morning with a teacher in real time. Virtual learning activities like P.E. are taught in the afternoon. The gym is in the living room.

The twins say the perk of virtual learning is that it takes a lot less time to get to school, but the new normal isn’t their favorite.

“The not-so-good part is that it gets really laggy and it skips over what the teacher says most of the time," said Carter.

The twins' mom says there have been challenges in logging into the virtual classroom for one of the twins.

“Schoology and Clever isn’t working for one of my children - in the same house,” said Heather Claibon-Silmon.

She says during the first week one of her sons missed some classes because of access issues. They’re not able to log in through the school virtual meeting platform, but can get to the lessons through Zoom. She says week two is running smoother.

“We did not expect it to be perfect and anything new that’s just getting started isn’t going to be perfect," said Silmon.

Silmon says her step-daughter, who attends Phillips Academy, is having minimal problems with connectivity and access, but communicates with her interim teacher through email more than the virtual learning platform since her regular teacher is on maternity leave.

Silmon also works as a counselor at Ramsay high school and says some of her students have also reported connectivity and access issues.

The district said it is aware of the problem. We’re working to find out next steps on fixing the issues.

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