Switching between virtual, in-person learning affecting student mental health

Students in Region 8 Schools are having to constantly switch back and forth between in-person learning to virtual learning, affecting students mentally and academically in the long run.

Mental toll in kids after learning changes

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Attending school has not been easy for some students who were looking forward to learning in the classroom.

One minute they are being engaged with their teacher, but then the next minute, they are pulled out of school and placed under quarantine for being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Jenny Petty, a tutor for the Migrant Program at Nettleton Public Schools, says that the constant switch between in-person and virtual learning interferes with a student’s desire to remain engaged, which can cause plummeting attendance, grades and lead to a learning gap.

“It probably will take several years for us to close in some of the gaps that we have because of how we had to change schooling,” said Petty.

Petty believes that every school in Northeast Arkansas has grown weary navigating the uncharted waters of the pandemic.

Students, teachers, staff, and personnel are anticipating the end of the semester and the inconsistency.

“We’re getting close to the end of the semester, this isn’t normal, we’re tired, we wish for normalcy,” Petty said.

Despite the growing weariness, Petty remains optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We just keep teaching and loving our students and continuing closing those gaps,” she said.

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