Going back to school virtually through eyes of a student

Beau, an Addison Mizner student, at east entrance on 12 Avenue. Submitted photo.

By: Diane Emeott-Korzen
Contributing Writer

As Palm Beach County public schools get underway, 7-year-old Addison Mizner Elementary student Beau was asked what he thinks of all the changes due to Covid-19.

Beau is starting 2nd grade.

“I think we shouldn’t go back to school. It’s too dangerous because of the virus,” he said.

Asked who he thinks it’s too dangerous for, Beau replied, “Teachers and students.”

Beau and his mom Jenny said he missed what turned out to be the last day of in-person school on Friday, March 13. He was out sick that day. They had two weeks off, and then started classes online. He had 19 kids in his 1st grade class.

“In the Spring, they were not really prepared to go online, but his teacher was awesome! His second grade friend said he never saw the teacher. Beau saw his teacher one hour everyday at 10 a.m., before giving out assignments on Google Classroom. She also did reading groups for the kids.

“The schools are amping it up this Fall,” Jenny continued. It’s going to be like a regular school day online. You’re marked ‘tardy’ if you don’t log in on time. Every day they meet with a teacher. It’s unclear how much homework there will be.”

What are Beau’s likes and dislikes about virtual schooling?

“He likes the live meetings and socializing. The work, not so much,” Jenny said of her son.

It’s hard because Beau has friends in the neighborhood who go to private school, and they are starting back on campus.

Spanish River Christian School off Yamato Road confirmed they were restarting with in-person learning on Aug. 26, “but everything is flexible and fluid.” There is a distance-learning option for parents whose kids have an underlying condition.

St. Paul Lutheran School on Palmetto Park Road went back on Aug. 25 – with 80 percent choosing in-person learning, and 20 percent choosing online, according to a school representative.

Both private schools are Pre-K-8th grade.

Jenny added that her friend Heather has to conduct five online phys-ed classes a day as a teacher at Boca Middle School.

Asked whether he had seen the construction at his school, built in 1966, as it’s revamped into a modern K-8 school, Beau said the last time he passed by, “it was just dirt, rocks and trucks.”