What classes are like in this Tucson classroom during a global pandemic | Local news

Although a viewer can be a little lost without seeing what is happening in the online forum, all students physically in the classroom have their laptops open and jumping back and forth between interacting with classmates at the computer and those in the classroom.

Throughout the classroom, Scruggs greets students who have just signed up. If their students check in late, it is often due to connectivity or technology issues.

According to Scruggs, both groups of students have an equal chance to learn, but neither group gets 100% of their attention as if everyone could be in the same classroom. Whether a student is doing well depends more on the child and their circumstances than on the type of teaching, she says.

When the lesson ends, Scruggs reminds her children that Picture Day is approaching. She says goodbye to each of her online students when they log out. And she reminds her students to go right when exiting – a COVID precaution to reduce the number of people passing each other.

Scruggs then goes around with disinfectant and sprays every chair and desk a student has sat on. As soon as the children are gone, she takes off her mask for a break. She has light spots on her face from where the mask rests all day.

Like Vail, most Tucson school districts offer some form of in-person learning, whether it’s part-time hybrid or full-day courses. Sunnyside, Tucson’s second largest school district, will reopen classrooms on March 1st after being closed since the winter break in December. And TUSD, which serves 40,000 students, will open the week of March 22nd after a year of closure.


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