Grand Strand parents adapt to virtual learning, react to school closures

Grand Strand parents react to schools closing rest of year

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Students throughout the state won’t be heading back to class this school year.

The governor announced Wednesday morning that students will have to continue learning from home in order to keep families safe from the spread of the coronavirus.

The Ward family spent part of the afternoon doing something together they all love, flying drones, but that wasn’t until after Colsyn Ward, a 4th grader at St. James Elementary, finished virtual school for the day.

“Today we talked about the moon and the different phases of the moon, like new moon, half-moon, crescent moon," said Colsyn Ward.

For Colsyn Ward, learning how to fly drones has come a little easier than virtual school.

“I’m going to miss my teacher a lot, and I don’t like virtual school because it gets confusing a lot," said Colsyn Ward.

When the decision to close schools for the remainder of the year came out, Colsyn’s mom was a little relieved.

“I’m glad that it’s happening," said Nicole Ward. "I’m glad they are taking the necessary steps because kids are just kids. They don’t know how to stay away from each other. It’s more important that they’re safe and taken care of.”

Nicole Ward said the first few weeks were a little bumpy and a lot of review as opposed to new material, but they are starting to get into the groove now.

While the Wards are adjusting, the transition hasn’t been quite as easy for all families.

“I’ve noticed a regression with him, not having his therapies and being in school has set him back a lot, with his speech and especially his behavioral,” said Megan Searles, whose son goes to South Conway Elementary.

Searles is trying to work with her five-year-old with special needs on her own, but finds the activities she has access to aren’t age-appropriate or fit his needs.

She also admits she doesn’t have the expertise that his therapists have.

“It’s been a little tough because a speech therapy and occupational therapy are therapies that you need to be hands-on with the student.”

Searles pointed out that this is Autism Awareness Month, and it has been a tough one without having that one-on-one time for her son and his therapists.

She’s been working with other parents in a similar boat to explore new learning strategies, especially now that school is closed for the rest of the year.

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