Mother hopes sending son back to Northside ISD campus will improve his learning experience

Families make tough decision between in-person learning or remote learning

SAN ANTONIO – A mother in San Antonio is weighing the COVID-19 risks of sending her son back to in-person learning at Northside ISD after struggling with online schooling.

Many students around the nation are struggling with remote learning and are falling behind. Last month, Northside ISD revealed that its failure rate was close to double compared to the previous year’s first grading period.

Northside ISD parent Katrina Ashworth said her two children have been learning online this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“My youngest, she has asthma. She’s had a lot of breathing issues since she was an infant,” Ashworth said.

For her 9-year-old son, learning at home has been a significant challenge.

“The oldest is definitely struggling with a lot of anger. He’s got some things bottled up,” Ashworth said.

She said her son also misses the social interaction with other students.

His latest progress report showed he was falling behind in social studies and reading.

“We have exhausted so many different options for our child, putting him in a different room, putting him on a different device. We have colored schedules. We have Post-Its. We have timers,” Ashworth said.

She said they’re working closely with her son’s teacher, but the family had to make a difficult decision.

“Ultimately, we agreed as parents -- and he agreed as well to benefit his own learning -- it’s going to be best that he goes back,” Ashworth said.

Her son will be returning to in-person learning in January.

Ashworth hopes sending her child back to campus will help him get back on track.

“He needs more than what I can give him at home, and that’s been the hardest for me as a parent because I don’t have, like -- I’m trying to find ways to give him more, and there’s no time left in the day,” Ashworth said.

Northside ISD campus staff members monitor student engagement and performance and are setting up systems to support struggling students. They’re providing opportunities for remediation or tutoring for those who need it.

The district also offers students needing extra support a tutoring program outside of school hours, including weekends, that can virtually be accessed. So far, district officials say the program has been successful.

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