HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - With two girls in elementary school, the Garretts know firsthand how challenging remote learning can be for parents and students. Mom Shavonne Garrett admits she was worried when she initially learned students wouldn't return to campus when classes resumed this fall.
"I was so nervous because I want to make sure they are getting the best out of everything since we have to do this remotely", Garrett told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes.
Henry County Schools Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis says the school district hopes to meet the challenge head-on through its new Remote Learning Evening Program. Seven hundred and fifty students in grades K-5 have signed up for the program. They will attend virtual classes between 4 and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
"Our halls are meant to be filled with kids and right now those COVID-19 numbers aren't allowing that to be possible, but this is a way for it to be a more accessible learning environment for our working families as well as our own teachers," Davis said.
Kindergarten teacher Liz Colson is one of the instructors teaching an evening session.
"This is going to give our parents and our teachers an opportunity to have more flexibility for their learning and also to give parents the ability to be more involved in their student's education," Colson said.
The school system decided to provide an alternative option for parents of elementary school children after reviewing families' experiences from the end of last school year. Some parents had a difficult time meeting the demands of work while helping their children with virtual learning during the day.
Davis says the school district has committed to working with families to provide students the best remote learning experience.
"That evening remote option is going to give that family member that evening space to be able to create that structure and really create that supervision that will aid in the success of that child," she said.
The Garretts enrolled both their daughters in the evening program. Shavonne says that flexibility will make it easier for them to oversee their children's virtual school day.
"It's less pressure for me. I get to wrap up my day and then go ahead and focus on them in the evening," she said. "I am so excited about it. "
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