Local students start distance learning due to COVID-19

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- School kids from public to private schools are learning in new classrooms Monday. Most of them are likely inside their own homes in new distance learning programs.

COVID-19 has schools in the State of Texas closed. It's unclear when they will be open again for students to return.

For now, the dining room is the new classroom for fifth-grader Jacque Alvarado and second-grader Jarah Alvarado of Brazos Christian School.

"It's very frustrating because Mommy's always like saying, "Sit down and do your work so that way you can get it done and go play outside,'" said Jarah.

Her older sister Jacque used the computer for some lessons and did take home packet work.

"We have little sections Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and so there's like a quick portion of work for each day and so it's been organized but kind of easy," said Jacque. "But then it's also like a kind of a fresh start from like the extended spring break."

Their parents are also working from home and helping. Their dad, Matt is a history teacher and coach at their school.

"We've had to arrange everything in the house to try to be more like what they would have in school. So our kids have classwork that was sent in through a packet last Friday," said Matt. "And they also have work that they're doing on the computer as well through different forms of media and things like that so it's definitely different."

"I miss my friends and teachers because they've really helped me like through math and reading but I kind of like it here," said Jacque.

Over at College Station ISD, the district gave an update on new distance learning. They have an app and site called Schoology students can use as well as packets of school work parents and guardians can pick up.

"All of this was created and stood up through a tremendous amount of work from our folks here in the district. This was accomplished in a week, so our at-home learning plan that you see that our folks started accessing today was all accomplished by a lot of hard work," said Mike Martindale, College Station ISD Interim Superintendent.

College Station ISD said they are focusing on improving students' understanding of current concepts for now. They will be getting feedback to look at ways to adjust their distance learning in the coming weeks.

"Think of Schoology as kind of an online social media platform ok. Whenever the developers of Schoology laid it out they did it with Facebook in mind because they understood the interactiveness of Facebook and they understood that it was a very intuitive program," said Jeff Mann, College Station ISD Director of Instruction.

"Right now we have a lot of different tools that we're using to figure out what works best for us to be able to connect our staff to our students. But these are also tools that our students can still use to connect with one another while we are physically distancing," said Tiffany Parkerson, College Station High School Principal.

College Station ISD said email is still the best way to get in touch with teachers if you or your child have questions.