'This is not what we were promised’: HCS Virtual parents weigh in on switching to traditional learning

Horry County Schools allowing virtual students to request to change to brick-and-mortar environment

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - With the option to transfer from the Horry County Schools virtual program back to traditional learning now possible, parents and students struggling with virtual learning are considering making the switch.

Starting Wednesday, parents can request to transfer their student if space is available at their school.

Jennifer Dolbow said she went the virtual learning route for her three kids because she has an autoimmune disease.

“I don’t want them in school. That’s why I chose this option, but this is not what we were promised and this is not working,” she said.

Dolbow said she expected Zoom classes with teachers and pre-recorded videos for most of the lessons. However, that’s not the case.

“No one’s actually teaching anything,” she said. “It’s ‘Go through this slideshow, 8 to 10 slides and then do a worksheet.’”

The chance for her students to switch back to traditional learning, though, doesn’t make it easier.

“I honestly don’t know what to do,” Dolbow said. “I was up milling over it all night because I just don’t know what to do.”

Dolbow’s eighth-grade son, Nick, is also feeling the frustration.

"My mom’s here to help me stay on track, but the only thing is the program itself isn’t letting me work,” he said.

As a high school junior, this school year is one of the most important for her daughter Hailey.

Typically a straight-A student, she’s currently failing two of her three classes.

“I have through the roof anxiety that’s why I’ve been doing school from home since I started high school, on top of concussions,” Hailey said.

Dolbow said only her sixth-grader, Morgan, is doing well with the program.

But, she’s also at odds with returning to the classroom.

“Here it’s easier because we can work at our own pace and get more sleep, but we don’t learn as much so there’s pros and cons,” Morgan said.

Meanwhile, single mother of three, Diane Cipriani, said she plans to make the switch.

She said at first she thought she would be able to work from home while helping her children with virtual school, but now she has to go back to the office.

Cipriani said the return to traditional learning would give her children the resources they need while she’s at work.

“I would like to see my youngest in the sixth grade get back to school,” Cipriani said. “I wish none of us were going through this, but we are and to have the opportunity to send her to school for two days a week for my family would be a blessing.”

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