This week is the first week Muskogee public schools and all students are learning online from their homes, and some parents and students are finding the district’s virtual system very stressful.
Tara Gilbert said she has three students attending Muskogee Public Schools, one of which is a straight "A" student but is now failing every class. Gilbert blames it on the district's virtual system.
"There's multiple programs per teacher, per class. Parents having to keep up with all this-- it's impossible!” Gilbert said. “If you have multiple kids in multiple grade schools, it's too much.”
Gilbert explained that some of her children’s assignments were not accessible on some programs, and they have been calling teachers for help constantly.
“Because with this system being how it is, parents have to be there to handle their children, through the school process, because they are not able to do it on their own," Gilbert said
Emily Lewis is a 7th grade math teacher and spent all last week teaching students the technology. She said the week has gone smoothly, with little confusion from her students.
"We did a mock virtual day last week. They got used to getting online, they learned to take notes, ask questions online, watch videos and different things like that,” Lewis said. “I think it really prepared them to be successful this week when they were virtual.”
Muskogee Schools Communications Director Steve Braun said the district prepared from some bumps in the road and said this is a learning period for everyone.
"We're trying to provide the resources, but I would say, just reach out to the teacher. Let them know, 'Hey, I'm having a tech issue, I'm not understanding, I'm having difficulty logging in,'" Braun said.
Braun said they are integrating virtual school days throughout the school year so the district can end the spring semester on time. Braun also said virtual learning will be helpful if students have to quarantine at any point.
Gilbert said she wants the district to use a simpler, more uniformed program so everyone can get on the same page, and her children can get their grades up.
"This is all a learning experience, but things have to change,” Gilbert said.
Braun said there is not a universal program for all grade levels, however they do have a help desk to take questions from students and teachers during school hours.
The Muskogee Public Schools help desk number is: (918) 684-3700.