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Ferguson-Florissant parent concerned students are still virtual learning — and falling behind

A mom said virtual learning is widening the gap between children of color. Leaders said the virus hit this district harder than others
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A Ferguson-Florissant School District parent fears students, especially students of color, are falling further behind their white counterparts in districts in other parts of town have returned to class.

“White schools have adapted to COVID, but our children are still out," Jeannine Warren said.

The district recently voted to keep students at home at least until March 1 citing the high number of COVID-19 cases in the community.

“All but one of the ZIP codes served by Ferguson-Florissant are in the red and not just barely in the red," explained school district spokesperson Kevin Hampton.

Hampton agrees that learning virtually isn’t as affective as in-person learning, but he said the district is prioritizing safety first. Warren acknowledged the virus is an issue but said other districts have adapted. 

“I get the numbers are high, but this is what we have to deal with now,” Warren said.

District leaders said schools are doing everything they can to fill the gaps: making sure every student has a laptop and internet at home and offering different methods of support to struggling students.

“There's an opportunity on those Fridays for those students to get additional support," Hampton said.

Warren said her daughter is a good student and doesn’t get into trouble, but she’s noticed other kids struggling in school and at home. She said they need the in-class atmosphere to lean on teachers who also serve as role models.

“A lot of these kids look up to these teachers,” Warren said.

Ferguson-Florissant will remain virtual until March 1. In February, the school board will vote on if students should return to class or continue learning from home.