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Bluefield, Va. Parents react to abrupt move to remote learning

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TAZEWELL, Va. (WVVA)- Students at Graham Intermediate, Middle, and High Schools had to unexpectedly move to remote learning with a short notice, this has put some strain on not only the students, but parents.

Tazewell County Schools decided to shift to remote learning on Thursday and today, three schools had students attend outside the classroom due to Coronavirus. The Superintendent of Tazewell County Schools explained why.

"We have had a few cases. Our cases are relatively small. But the amount of folks, faculty and staff that have been quarantine because of those exposures that was the primary reason of shutting down," Superintendent, Dr. Christopher Stacy said.

We spoke with parents from the schools going remote, some tell us the move seemed to come out of nowhere.

"It is very short notice for parents who are working, and have to try to figure out how to remotely school their children. I understand why the decision had to be made, but I feel that it could've been handled a little bit better," Kelli Berry, a Graham Intermediate, and High School parent said.

"I probably felt like every other parent. You're a little nervous, but it is what it is. Tazewell County has some of the most wonderful teachers, staff and everybody, and I know they are working so hard to make sure these kids have everything they need," Kara Quick, a Graham Intermediate, and Middle School parent said.

Some parents are concerned about how well younger children will retain their lessons in the remote mode, as opposed to the students in middle and high schools.

"I feel like I'm not 100% prepared. When school began back in August they did show the children how to log into their Google Classroom and they set them all up, but they have not worked in Google Classroom," Berry said.

"With everything that has happened in the past 6 months parents have learned to go with the flow. I feel like it's our jobs to make sure that our kids aren't stressed out about these things," Berry added.

The school board is currently working on solutions to bring WiFi and internet services to those students in certain areas of Tazewell County who need to stay on top of their education for the next two weeks.

"We're actually working on a mobile hot-spot. A bus that's got computers on it that has WiFi that's actually like a mobile library that will be in the areas that don't have good signal. We're going to have to adapt to whatever situation we have and we're willing to help the parents in any possible way we can in this. We're not only concerned about the health of our kids but we're also concerned about the education of our kids," Eastern District Representative to the School Board of Tazewell County, Erik Robinson said.

One parent points to other challenges, many parents will face besides WiFi access.

"The biggest challenge for me is that I'm mom. I'm not a teacher. They don't like to always listen to mom," Quick said.

Dr. Stacy says he knows remote learning adds more to parents plates, but students, staff, and faculty safety is at the heart of this decision.

"I understand the stress that puts on families. I've had lots' of communication from folks and saying: "Hey we need these schools open." I appreciate those comments, and I understand," Dr. Stacy said.

Graham Intermediate, Middle and High School will work remotely until October 9th.

Star Connor

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