Briarcrest students begin virtual learning

Briarcrest students begin virtual learning

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Online learning is becoming students’ new normal across the country. Most school districts in the Mid-South are closed until at least the end of the month.

“Our teachers are already calling on students like if they were sitting in class,” Briarcrest Christian School Head Master Caron Swatley said.

The new normal at Briarcrest Christian School is kind of like the old normal.

“We still have homework,” said David Hogan, BSC sixth grader .

Except teachers are in empty classrooms and students are learning at home.

“I have projects for one class notes for another,” said Ivy Hogan, BCS ninth grader.

On Thursday, Briarcrest started its virtual learning which is expected to last until at least March 30. After coming back from Spring Break this week, students did not go back to class as Briarcrest joins schools across the region and world closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In 2020, it’s not just an extended break. Class is moved online.

“I have never gone through something like this, but what I will say is I’m so grateful we’ve embraced technology,” Swatley said.

“[The classes are] chill, but we learn a lot,” Ivy Hogan said.

Briarcrest has school-issued laptops for every student form the 5th to the 12th grade. Teachers use the program Microsoft Teams to have class online.

Many other districts in the area also have a one-to-one technology program. Shelby County Schools is not one of those districts.

This week, SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said this health crisis is another example of the need for technology funding in schools. SCS has online learning guides for students, but if a student doesn’t have a computer or internet they can pick up a guide on Mondays and Tuesdays at the more than 60 food distribution sites.

While it’s unclear how long virtual learning will last, teachers are making sure the learning part takes center stage.

“We’ve definitely put the distance between us, but the learning hasn’t stopped,” said Nicole Scott, BCS teacher.

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