CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — During this year marked by COVID-19 and the pandemic, students have adapted to virtual learning.
Through Zoom calls, teachers and students have connected to continue the school year. Parents are also involved now more than ever in their child's education.
"They are going to grow," parent Elsie Ortiz said. "They are going different from how I grew up."
Ortiz's daughter attends Rockport-Fulton Middle School where a hybrid learning model is being used. She says her daughter had the option of going in person two days a week but she wanted her to attend at school four days.
“She’s transitioning from fifth grade to sixth grade so she’s going from elementary to middle school," Ortiz said. "She has virtual learning to a school she hasn’t had met any students. She doesn’t know the teachers. That transition is hard for anybody.”
According to the Aransas County Independent School District 2020 fall reopening plan, many roadblocks have been met including transportation needs, potential concerns about ventilation and HVAC systems, attempting to implement the full program studies as well as staff and students who are in COVID-19 high-risk categories or have pre-existing conditions that would make returning to school in person dangerous for them.
Brandon Hernandez, a senior at Rockport-Fulton High School, says he prefers in-person instruction.
“For English because I have a hard time understanding that stuff,” he said.
Curtis De la Garza, a seventh-grader at Bishop Gariagga Preparatory School, says it was about adapting for him.
"At first it was really hard trying to keep up my grades," he said. "Eventually, it got easier.”
De la Garza's father is unsure whether he wants his son back in school.
“50-50," said Michael De la Garza. "I think it’s been more harder on him than me.”
Learning from home has its challenges, but the main concern from some parents is their child's mental health.
“Her mental health was dropping too, more because she didn’t have that interaction with her friends,” Ortiz said.
De la Garza agrees about the challenges of at-home instruction.
“Sitting at home in front of a computer all day I think it’s hard for any kid,” he said.
Students have other concerns but Curtis De la Garza is happy with how things are going.
“I’m happy with the way my schedule (has transpired)," he said. "The only downside is I have to take my books, all my books on Monday and bring them all home on Tuesday.”