A new…and very different…school year begins

Today is the first day of school. But it is not like years past. Today, instead of grabbing their zippered binders and lunch boxes, the kids are heading to their computers to start school.

Yes, we are beginning the year with virtual learning. Unlike the distance learning of the Spring, this is actual classes taught on Zoom. It is supposed to be as close to in-person learning as possible.

This is Jase’s first year of high school. But the nerve-wracking find out where your classes are in the new school will have to wait. His online – and later in person schedule – resembles a college schedule. He has 4 classes that meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then he has 3 classes that meet for a longer period on Tuesday and Thursday. Jase’s classes begin at 10 am and end at 3:30 pm.

He luckily got everything he signed up for – Geometry, Honors World Geography, Honors Biology, English, Orchestra, Fitness Basics (P.E.), and Principals of Law.

Lexie is now in 7th grade. She will have four classes each day, but they alternate between A and B (or rather blue and silver) schedules. On blue days, she goes to Honors reading, art, Honors Math, and science. On silver days, she has Honors English, Texas History, PE, and Principals of Human Services (which is high school credit course). Next year, Lexie’s math class (Algebra) and health class will also count as high school credits meaning she will later start high school with 2 1/2 credits. (Jase started with 1 1/2 – Algebra and the half credit health class). Lexie’s classes go from 8:30 am to 2 pm.

Because their start and stop times are so varied, it will make it interesting for getting them up in the mornings and for having lunch prepared. And I am hoping everything goes off without a hitch. They have received all their Zoom links and have set up their Google Classroom accounts.

Now the excitement of the first day is shadowed by a twinge of disappointment that they won’t be seeing their friends. That they won’t get to walk or ride the bus or that they won’t get to have the typical first day of school experience.

But we will work through it. What other choice do we have? They may have not liked distance learning, but they are willing to give virtual learning a try. And hopefully it will go well. And I hope even more that the schools decide to give in-person learning a try. My kids will be there when they do.

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