School districts return to virtual learning after winter break
COLUMBIA (WOLO): Monday was the first day back to school after a long holiday break for many local school districts. Eleven of those have opted to move to virtual learning at least until Friday, as they work to slow the spread of covid-19.
Alex Pinto is a 7th grade math and science teacher at Busbee Creative Arts Academy in the Lexington 2 School District.
Throughout the pandemic, she’s taught hybrid learning, face-to-face, and this week, she’s back in the online classroom. “It’s been a different experience. I think it’s challenged me in a lot of ways, but it’s also provided a wonderful opportunity for me to work with my students in small groups.”
While no doubt an unprecedented school year, Pinto says it’s also helped bring real life examples into her teaching. “In science, as we’re learning about bacteria, we’re also gonna discuss viruses, since that lends itself well into common misconceptions students have between bacteria and viruses, and we’re gonna talk about covid then too.”
After a surge of covid-19 cases in students and staff following the thanksgiving holiday, the district decided on a week of virtual learning for all students after winter break, starting January 4th.
Superintendent of Schools of Lexington 2 District, Dr. Nicolas Wade said, “Especially looking at the greater number of cases going on in the state and across the country. So we really predominately wanted to take an abundance of caution to make sure that we had accurate data to make more of an informed decision moving forward.”
And when students are welcomed back, Dr. Wade says staff will be ready with precautions in place. “Cleaning, plexiglass shields, we’re still giving out PPE. In terms of covid testing, our nurses are being trained right now with some of their own particular kits and how to administer the test for our students and staff when it’s absolutely needed.”
Pinto says, “Hopefully with this vaccine, I’m just hoping it gets distributed quickly so we do see the light at the end of the tunnel because I would love to have school without masks and shields again.”