By Marybel Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Chereen Coile and Jeanine Finlay from True North Classical Academy try to sum up the last school year, to say it was difficult is an understatement.

“It was one big blur, chugging every day to make sure students were learning. We had students in and out constantly. Some would return from quarantine, others would get quarantined five days later. So the challenge was keeping up with the education and not lowering the bar for them,” said Coile, Assistant Head Schools, K-3.

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They said teachers at the charter school were faced with the daunting task of teaching students, some of whom were in person and others who were at home virtually.

“No matter how well the teachers did they engaged the students that were online but not the same as if the person is there. You can’t read body language, face signals, and that connection is not there when on a screen,” said Jeanine Finlay, Head of Schools.

Those days of remote learning are over. Miami Dade and Broward students are all expected to attend class in person for the 2021-2022 school year, a transition some may find challenging.

So how can parents or guardians help make it a smooth transition? Some teachers suggest starting the conversation at home.

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“That conversation with the child, what are they fearful of or what are they really excited about. Go back to that excitement and get them engaged in wanting to back to school,” said Coile.

As for parents they say trust the process and have open communication with teachers and the administration knowing that safety protocols are in place.

Another tip, one for teachers, is taking mental health breaks, those are vital.

“It is overwhelming and it is exhausting, so having that time that they have, mental breaks, those times to speak to someone when they need to, that’s vital,” said Finlay.

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This school year will be full-time in-person learning. For those students who choose not to return there are several options. There is Broward Virtual School, Miami Dade Online Academy, and Florida Virtual School.

Marybel Rodriguez