Kids, parents in Pasco County adjust to school at home

Pasco County’s 77 thousand public school students started classes on computers at home today joining thousands of others across the Tampa Bay area kept at home by the novel coronavirus threat.

Like other districts, Pasco experienced delays due to overloaded digital platforms.

“We’ve had a couple of reports of slow curriculum downloads,” said Kurt Browning, Pasco superintendent of Schools. “It was Florida Virtual, not our Canvas platform. They’re working on that now.”

Pinellas County students use the Microsoft Teams platform. Hillsborough uses a learning platform called Edsby.

Parents and students across the region reported continued problems, but school district officials said providers were still working to accommodate the massive uptick in usage.

RELATED: Florida public school campuses to remain closed through April

In Dade City, Jenny Borders has a one-year-old, 4-year-old, and six-year-old twins. She says they started practicing two weeks ago for the start of virtual classes.

“The first two weeks we kind of had a checklist that every day there were certain tasks that had to be accomplished before there was the ability to have free time.”

Because they didn’t have enough computers in the house, Jenny’s husband set up an X-Box gaming system, using the Microsoft Edge browser to access the Canvas learning platform. Six-year-old Jackson Borders did his lessons with the game controller.

“I’m not that good at typing so it actually helps me a lot to get through the work at home,” said Jackson.

School system officials say after this is over students and teachers will have a much better handle on distance learning, but for now, families are working to adapt to a different kind of school.

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The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

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