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'It's really hard' | Stockton parents, students start distance learning with first day of school

Over 37,000 students started the new school year at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

STOCKTON, Calif. — Nine-year-old Makayla Walters learned about fractions on her first day of school. But instead of getting the lesson in class from her teacher, she got it virtually through her laptop computer.

"My favorite subject is math and reading," said the fifth grader, who goes to Stockton's Madison Elementary School.

For Makayla, the classroom is not an option right now during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's really hard, and, it's hard because of the fact that they [are] distracted because home is going on. The comfort is there," said mother Kisha Walters.

Walters said the first day of school was a mixed bag.

She's happy that McKayla's teacher was online and attentive with the class through the day. But, she is not so happy that her eight-year-old daughter Mo'ney's first day didn't happen online at all.

"That was last night when I got [off] the phone about picking up the homework packets that they're going to have ready for the third grader on Wednesday," said Walters.

While there are no students in the schools, teachers have the option of either teaching at home or teaching on campus from their own classroom.

"We are working really hard to make sure all of our students and our staff are equipped with the tools that they need. There's a lot of excitement out there," said Shelley Spessard, spokesperson for Stockton Unified School District.

Tools include Chromebooks for a school district with more than 37,000 students.

It also includes a new interim superintendent in Brian Biedermann, former Edison High School principal .

Kisha Walters said she's a single, stay at home mom who is looking for work. However, she isn't sure what she'll do next.

"I'll be stressing out on who's going to be watching my kids," Walters said.


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