By Sharon Aron Baron
As thousands of children technically “go back” to school in Broward County this week, students are getting into the swing of things on their first day. While there were some hiccups, most parents shared with CST that their first day went pretty well at Coral Springs schools.
Martha Persten said her son Ethan, 11, is a sixth-grader at Sawgrass Springs Middle School, and daughter Jamie, 16, is 11th grader at Coral Glades High School.
Her son’s experience at Sawgrass Springs went well despite a couple of small issues, and that she was pleased with how the school ran the first day.
“At 8:25 a.m., he logged in to his first-period class, and access was denied. He started getting nervous and anxious, so he emailed his teacher to let her know he couldn’t get in the class. The teacher responded quickly, letting all her students know there were technical problems and that for today, tardiness and absences would not count.”
Martha said the technical situation was resolved immediately, allowing the students into the virtual class.
Later, Ethan realized his class schedule was wrong, as he had two second periods. He immediately emailed his second-period teacher to let her know, and the teacher referred him to his counselor who fixed the issue.
“I was amazed how quickly everything got resolved with just one email and from the comfort of our home,” she said.
She said that school ended with a big smile on her son’s face and stress-free.
“He doesn’t have to worry about codes yellow and red drills, no bullying, no school fights, no excuse to be tardy or absent to attend school, and he doesn’t have to live in fear worrying about school shootings.”
Ashlee Geier who has children in both Coral Glades High School and Sawgrass Springs Middle, wrote the first day of school is supposed to be a day of celebration of advancement and opportunity, however, she has two school-age children and no computers for them. She has been contacting schools since the last spring because she had a feeling this was going to be an issue.
“I have been unsuccessful in reaching the school and get a voicemail recording that says they will get back to me in two business days, and they refer you to email.”
She has been emailing since last week receiving no response either. After logging on to canvass from her phone, she emailed a teacher told her to hang in there.
“I know [it’s] day one and we’re all in this together, yet I feel so alone.”
Patricia Rabinovich said it was a “brilliant and seamless” first virtual day of school so far at Summit Academy Charter School.
They are definitely well-prepared, and the teachers and administration have been great with communication.
“Our son Jacob is completely engaged with his class. Wonderful ice breaker activities to ease the children back into the routine.”
Other parents shared their first day experiences
Helga Jorge: “All is going smoothly so far at Country Hills Elementary 4th grade with Mrs. Broadmerkel.”
Eileen Caslin: “No issues with Renaissance Charter Coral Springs.”
Jennifer Czerr: “No issues at Coral Springs Charter. Minor issues with Riverside Elementary, I think too many people on Canvas at the same time (to transition to specials). We managed to get in, now to work on teaching the kids about the mute button.”
Anna Schafer Edwards: “No issues with Maplewood Elementary. The only problem is our internet connection with AT&T, which lags and drops.”
Marie Generazio: “2.5 hours in, and I’m considering taking up day-drinking, so you know… it’s just freaking great! Trying to get a first grader to stay still and focus on a computer screen for six hours is proving to be just as unpleasant as I was worried about it being.”
Kimberly Koff Singer: “Marjory Stoneman Douglas has been awesome so far. Great Canvas pages for every teacher, Teams links ready to go… prepared, ready, and engaged. Love it!”
Lynnette Mohammed: “Having trouble logging on to teams [for] Coral Springs High School. If the first day is any indication of how the rest of the week is going to be, count me out.”
Jennifer Levi: “A huge shout out to Summit Academy Charter School. We pulled our daughter from her home school to be in a small charter school setting with all the intricacies of a virtual classroom. There were absolutely no hiccups this morning, and her teacher is incredible. She kept all of these 5-year-olds engaged and excited. Kudos to her and the entire Summit staff. With that being said, I pray the schools open ASAP! This most definitely isn’t a solution, nor is it sustainable long-term, especially for these youngest elementary-aged kids.”
Johanna Piedrahita Pacheco: Parkside Elementary and Sawgrass Springs Middle doing great so far. No connection issues, fast response to a schedule change, etc. Not ideal with a full-time job and three kids, but we have to be patient and make the best of it.”
Cintia Santoro Fioroni: “Coral Springs Middle is a nightmare. My son wasn’t able to log into any of the classes so far. Coral Park and MSD thumbs up.”
Stevie Demeanor: “We took our son out of MSD and put him in Broward Virtual. He loves his schedule, and right now, he’s in the process of working on assignments for classes he has checked in with. He has welcome talks with a few more teachers before he gets going with them. He has a brand new computer, they already have their system down, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.”
Terri Tone Oster: “Could not get on correctly many tech issues. Horrible and full of stress.”
Diane Rivera: It is nearly impossible to keep a kindergartner engaged for a full day of class online. After an hour, he was done. Then there were technical problems, and we couldn’t get back in. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.”