DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Thousands of Mid-South parents are under a deadline to decide whether their kids go back to campus this fall or continue learning at home.
DeSoto County Schools is giving families until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22 to decide if they will opt their child into its virtual learning for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.
Even with class sizes up in the air, district teachers are starting to prepare as school starts in less than four weeks.
DeSoto County Schools third grade teacher Brandi Arton doesn't call the last 20 years she's prepared for the start of school 'normal years' anymore. She suspects how she's preparing this year may become normal for a while.
“My classroom preparation does look differently,” Arton said.
The Hernando Hills Elementary School teacher will be teaching solely in-person instruction. That means she has to social distance desks and get rid of all the communal supplies this year.
”In years’ past, I’d have shared supplies such a books, glue sticks, markers. This year will be different. Each child will have his or her own box,” Arton said.
That means more out of Arton’s pocket to supply her classroom. So, she and thousands of teachers across the country have turned to online fundraisers to get the extra help they need this year.
Arton has started an Amazon wishlist where people can purchase supplies to help her. Others have taken to online fundraising sites like Donors Choose.
Arton's list includes some pandemic supplies like thermometers and air filters.
“This is another adjustment we need to make,” Arton said. “In the past we had to adjust to new curriculums and safety guidelines because of things that go on in our country.”
DCS says parents’ feedback indicated most have the means to support virtual learning. However, if a family wants virtual learning for their child, but does not have the devices, the district said it will work with families on a case by case basis.
For a link to DCS’ virtual learning application click here.