This year, school looked different from district to district, family member to family member

Written by on June 7, 2021

This year, school looked different from district to district, family member to family member

By Chloe Nouvelle

June 7, 2021

Photo |Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo

School during the pandemic looked different from district to district but in some cases it was different even within a family. As the COVID school year ends, one parent tells WLVR how she got through this unprecedented year. 

Listen to the story.

When Montgomery county’s Abington School District shut down last year, Lisbeth Little’s dining room morphed into a classroom with iPads and Chromebooks replacing plates and cutlery. 

“It was a difficult process to, you know, line them all up kind of assembly order and then help them all log in and sort through all the windows and things that they were using,” Little says. 

Little works full time and is a mom of four children. Her youngest is just a toddler but her other three are all school-aged. And they each have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), so they are enrolled in special education.

Her oldest, Joshua, 12. has autism and anxiety. Despite the challenges, he’s stayed on with Abington as a virtual student.

But his 10-year-old twin sisters have not.

“We lasted probably about a month in regular virtual school or COVID school, whatever you want to call it. And then I withdrew them and I homeschooled them,” Little says. 

Little’s twins, Alicia and Catelin, are fourth graders. Little says each of them has a learning disability and this was the first year they ever struggled academically. 

She says that’s partly because they never really finished third grade. Remember, COVID hit in March 2020. With about three months left on the school calendar. And when September came, many kids just started their next grade.

“I don’t think that any kids were at grade level, I think they were all behind. And I think the school district expected the kids just to pick up and go, like nothing had happened,” Little says.

As their teacher, Little says, she’s focused on education requirements and their overall wellbeing and working to, slowly, get them back up to speed.

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