With COVID 19 cases on the rise in Douglas County, many schools are changing their schedules or going completely online to prevent the spread. This is the case for Ian Jenkins, a student at Brownel Talbot in Omaha.
Since the beginning of the year, Brownel Talbot has been in person full time, efficiently adapting to the pandemic due to their small numbers. However, things changed when the daily COVID 19 cases started to pick up during the fall.
Just a few days before Halloween, Brownel Talbot students went fully online. They attended classes on their normal schedule, but remotely, with the teachers operating from the building. Ian Jenkins states, “We went fully remote for about a month, from around Halloween to after Thanksgiving break.”
After Thanksgiving break, students were given a choice on how to continue the semester. Jenkins states, “We had an option to stay fully online or to go to school every day for the rest of the semester.”
Jenkins ended up going in person and found the experience to be “a breath of fresh air” according to him. He states, “The environment was quite optimistic, but everybody was ready for this all to be over.”
Around 50% of the students stayed online, and the rest went back to school. This made transitions from classes and other activities like lunch easier for staff and students alike. Jenkins states, “I think we did a pretty good job with it,” showing his approval for Brownel Talbot’s efficiency.
One of the only problems was that as the weather got colder, students could not eat outside and were transitioned to the more confined cafeteria. However, this was resolved by the considerable number of students that decided to partake in remote learning.
With so many students online, in person classes had to adjust as well. Jenkins states, “In almost every class, we had to use our iPads to log onto our zoom calls while class was taking place in front of us.” This is a way to connect online students with the students in class.
Brownel Talbot serves as an example of other schools across Omaha that are adjusting to the surge of COVID 19 cases.