SCS student says she’s struggling with virtual learning

Updated: Sep. 25, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - We’ve heard from parents all over the Mid-South about the struggles of virtual learning, but recently a local eighth grader reached out to WMC Action News 5 about her experience.

Jania Phillips is an eighth grader at Snowden School.

She wrote an email to WMC Action News 5 and the Shelby County School Board expressing how overwhelming virtual learning has been for her.

“I feel like I’m going to fail if I keep doing online school,” Jania said. “The first couple of weeks it was okay, it was easy because I mean it was the first couple of weeks but then it started getting confusing.”

Jania says she’s a hands-on learner.

She likes writing her notes by hand and interacting with students and teachers in person.

She says her grades have dropped significantly compared to last year.

“I just find it unfair that we can go other places, but we can’t go to school,” Jania said.

Michelle Mckissack is a school board member representing Jania’s school district.

She says as a parent with two children in Shelby County Schools, she understands how Jania feels.

“We understand that this is all new, different and frustrating, but it is what we have to deal with right now to keep everyone safe,” McKissack said.

Mckissack recommends any student having trouble reach out to their teachers, principals, and guidance counselors for assistance -- and then to the district if challenges persist.

“All that we ask at this point is to do the best that you can,” McKissack said.

She says school guidance counselors have many helpful focus and study tips.

McKissack also says she plans to reach out to Jania personally and wants to encourage all students to hang in there.

“I wanted to write this letter to help myself and help other children because other children at my school say they’re ready to go back to school too,” Jania said.

We reached out to Shelby County Schools regarding any possible grading structure changes because of virtual learning.

A spokesperson for the district wrote:

“Regardless of the type of learning environment provided to our students, teachers will continue to follow all grading protocols established in 2019-20. However, teachers will also ensure students receive credit for time spent using intervention software, such as iReady, Edgenuity or similar programs. Whenever a student completes at least 45 minutes on any day for English, Language Arts (ELA) or Math, a 100 should be included as a class participation grade for the student in the relevant subject area for that day.”

For more information about SCS virtual learning, click here.

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