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How to prepare your child for virtual learning

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Multiple local school districts transitioned to virtual learning or required masks as COVID-19 cases continued to rise in adults and children.

As of the end of August, every county in the Alabama was considered high risk for transmission of COVID-19 and one county, Sumter, was listed as substantial risk of transmission.

The grim reality of the situation caused health leaders to warn that if the state continued on that track, more schools would need to switch to virtual learning.

Several school districts including Jefferson County, Hoover City Schools and Vestavia Hills City Schools had changed course, during the school year, switching from optional to universal mask policies.

Some districts had been slammed by  the virus and other factors announced all of their students would stay home and learn online including Calhoun County Schools and Talladega City Schools.

The state added more than five thousand cases in a matter of weeks, more than 2800 people were hospitalized by the end of August and nearly 50 of them were pediatric patients.

“The more cases we have, we’re not necessarily going to have enough teachers or staff to manage a classroom or even enough students to attend the classroom,” Deputy State Health Officer, Dr. Karen Landers said.

Preparing for what was likely inevitable was important for parent and education consultant Julanda George, who advised parents get a head start.

“A schedule. A routine that constantly keeps them abreast on what they’re doing. I’ve turned our guest bedroom into a full-functioning classroom,” founder of I choose Happy Learning Academy Julanda George said.

George, with 12 years of teaching experience, and her husband chose to homeschool their four children in 2020. She said the experience was challenging but rewarding, so they decided to stick with it.

George said to focus on getting ahead of any potential shortcomings by being proactive, not reactive.

“Making sure that the child does not fall behind, you may want to seek other tutoring services now,” said George.

Dr. Landers says vaccinations, masks and hygiene was needed to keep students in the classroom.

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