Education

Students Still Struggling With Virtual Learning as School Year Gets Underway

Parents and students are still experiencing challenges in distance learning amid pandemic.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The school year began in Buena Park on Tuesday and yet at the end of the first school week, some parents say they still don't have a way to connect their child to any virtual classroom.

"I cannot use it because don't have the WiFi in my house and I don't have internet either," said fourth-grader Briseyea Delgado as she showed off an iPad she received from the Buena Park School District.

Briseyea is able to power up the iPad but that's all. Instead, she's learning on paper. Packets were also sent home with students so some type of instruction could take place. Ironically, Briseyea told NBCLA that she believes she could learn more and faster if she was connected to her classroom online.

Parents say they knew there would be a learning curve but never expected they would be entrenched in the so-called "Digital Divide."

"As a mom, for me everything about the technology is new. I've never been a teacher before but I have to do it because I love my kids," said parent Brenda Torres.

Torres has three children in the school district and three generations living at home. She wants her children to learn, but with a pandemic in the background, she also wants them to be safe.

District officials cannot say how many of their 4,400 students are virtually learning from home, but in a statement, they told NBCLA that the school year kick-off has been largely successful, adding, "We are working to address some connectivity issues."

According to the superintendent, they are still waiting for iPads for 6th graders, money that should have come from the CARES Act.

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