Classroom in the pandemic

About 10% of DeSoto County Schools’ students have moved from virtual learning to in-person classes since the beginning of the fall semester.

When the semester began, 63% of students in the district attended classes in person. Now, 73% of students are attending in-person classes, according to DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Cory Uselton.

DeSoto County Schools is the largest district in the state of Mississippi with over 30,000 students. About 13,000 of those students chose to start the semester by attending classes virtually, according to the school district.

DeSoto County Schools allowed parents to move their children from virtual learning to in-person classes or vice versa for the second nine weeks of the semester.

This comes after some parents voiced concerns about virtual learning difficulties, some saying that they could not see virtual learning working for the entire year. Some parents had technology issues, while others said their children were not learning nearly as well as they do in person.

Uselton responded to those concerns, saying the district has been working to improve virtual learning since the start of the fall semester.

Uselton also noted a change in staffing this semester — there were fewer new teachers this year compared to last year.

DeSoto County Schools has done better than other large school districts at containing the coronavirus through the beginning of the semester, but in the last two weeks the district has seen a jump in new cases. Two outbreaks on football teams last week contributed to the 73 new cases in schools and 381 new student quarantines.

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