SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)-– In any ordinary fall most grade school students come to school for their usual learning. However, in a year that has been anything but ordinary, school came to them.
The Syracuse City School District started the school year Sept. 14 through online learning. All 31 grade schools started the year in the new format, but the modified method of instruction met mixed reviews.
For parents like Shanice Coleman, the lack of in person learning created inconvenience.
“My son has a learning disability,” Coleman said. “He has to be hands on, so I feel like he needs more attention than other kids and the teacher is not as patient as he needs it.”
According to Superintendent Jaime Alicea, SCSD supplemented the online classes by making computers available district-wide. District officials said SCSD distributed nearly 6,000 laptops and 1,200 wifi hotspots in preparation for the start of the year. They plan to issue another 4,000 laptops and 1,200 hotspots soon.
Some parents and guardians were frustrated with the lack of instruction on how to use the computers to access their children’s classes. Christine Ruffin, the grandparent of three children in the district, said she’s concerned about technical difficulties affecting learning.
“Imagine having to teach all these kids remotely, some getting it and some not,” Ruffin said. “Then you’re taking time from the kids that’s trying to learn because you’ve got to stop and help the kids that need the help.”
The district plans for in person classes to resume Oct. 5.