Elementary students in Hoover start 4 days of in-person learning

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:39 AM CST
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s kind of like the first day of school all over again for some Hoover City School students.

Elementary students started their new learning schedule Tuesday. Students moved from two days a week of in-person learning to four days.

“I was very happy we’re going back to four days a week. It’s a step in the right direction. My daughter is very happy,” said Kristin Pederson.

Kristin Pederson hopes for more smiles and less tears for her first-grader Kayana as she transitions to 4 days of in person learning. In a picture shared with WBRC, it showed Kayana crying during one of her virtual lessons. Pederson says it’s a snapshot of what blended learning had been like in her home.

“She was crying because she couldn’t read the directions. I thought to myself that’s because you missed the last fourth of your kindergarten, where you start to read, and the beginning of first grade when the reading excels,” said Pederson. “She’s not where she should be educationally.”

That’s why Pederson hopes the district moves to five days a week of in-person learning soon.

As leaders allow more students to attend weekly, some parents balance the concerns about academic progress and the risk of COVID.

“I know personally it’ll be good for him to see his friends in person, but I am probably the one who is more distraught about the whole situation,” said parent Josh Flores.

Flores helped his first-grader, Stark, get ready for the four-day learning adjustment Tuesday, even though he’s not opposed to staying on the two-day schedule. His says he feels uneasy when he thinks about the staff at his son’s school.

“We can always make up the learning. We can’t make up the lives lost,” said Flores. “I won’t feel comfortable until all the teachers have the vaccine.”

District leaders say the vaccine won’t be available for teachers until mid-to late February. Leaders started the four-day schedule with elementary students and based on the success of elementary reopening. Middle schools could reopen on or around February 1.

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