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Students, teachers head online to get classwork done

Remote learning instituted in many local school districts

SAN ANTONIO – As school campuses remained closed, area school districts have implemented remote, or distance, learning for all its students.

Many students Monday began the new learning process, which has students sitting in front of a computer or laptop to get instruction from a teacher.

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“I think it is second nature to them,” said Monica Olivares, a teacher at St. Anthony’s High School. “I think they’re doing a very good job. On Saturday, I practiced with one of my courses and they did a good job. And this morning, the students were able to communicate effectively through the microphone and ask questions based on what we were teaching them as far as, you know, procedures in attendance, communicating effectively.”

In most cases, teachers have uploaded assignments to platforms like Google Classrooms and have used programs like Skype and Zoom to communicate with students.

“We are using Zoom much more than we ever have, along with Microsoft teams and some other digital platforms,” said St. Anthony High School Principal Dr. Kristina Viduarri. “Those are things that we have not always done. Because of the scenario that we are now in, that’s now enhanced that opportunity that we have to grow and stretch as educators and students and teachers in the community.”

“I think the biggest challenge was not actually getting to be with kids every day,” Churchill High School History teacher Sara George said. “We signed up and got into this because of how much we enjoy investing in the lives of young people. You go from spending an hour, an hour plus, with them a day to not seeing them at all.”

George said while many students are worried about the curriculum, others are concerned about the future.

“They’re worrying about things that we really we don’t have answers to yet,” George said. “What graduation is going to look like or advanced placement testing. We don’t know what it’s going to look like in three, four, five weeks from now."

“Right now, we want to take it day by day to make sure that we’re not overwhelming the teachers and overwhelming the students at the same time,” Olivares said. “I think a day by day is is a good thing.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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