San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District students began online classes on Wednesday and one family is sharing their experience with the online program thus far.

Lucia Rojas Galarza and her daughter Claudia Vasquez, shared how the online classes so far have taken place in their household.

Vasquez is an eighth grade student at San Felipe Del Rio CISD, thus she is doing her online classes via the Canvas and Zoom platforms. Elementary students are using the Google platform for online education.

Classes began online on Wednesday and both mother and daughter learned to navigate Zoom, a virtual call and meeting app, on their own. Rojas Galarza added one of her daughter’s teachers helped them learn how to navigate the Canvas platform.

“It’s different for her (doing classes online), but thankfully she’s not struggling,” Rojas Galarza said, adding they are not having any connectivity issues with programs and online assignments.

“It feels weird cause you don’t see your teachers or friends,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez’s online classes follow a schedule similar to a regular school day. “You get breaks, but it is very tiring … it’s all day in front of the computer,” Vasquez said.

While campuses also provide students the opportunity to engage with childhood friends and build new friendships, unlike last year many students will develop friendships online.

“They (Vasquez and her friends) see each other in Zoom and later in the afternoon they get together on Zoom to do homework,” Rojas Galarza said.

The last time Vasquez saw her friends and teachers was in March, according to Vasquez, adding she’s been staying in contact with her friends through social media and FaceTime.

Vasquez did not receive an electronic device from the school district, according to Rojas Galarza. Up until Aug. 17, there were 4,730 elementary and secondary grade level students in need of an electronic device before the classes began.

Out of that amount, 3,192 electronic devices were allocated to students while 818 students remained on a waiting list to receive one.

The week of Sept. 14, the school district will begin transitioning students into a traditional classroom setting or a hybrid education model, depending on the education model the student and parents chose.

Students in the online or hybrid education models will continue to use online classes for assignments.

“Only for STAAR tests will I allow her to go back to school,” Rojas Galarza said. Vasquez added she would not want to return to traditional classes in the middle of September out of concern for her health and the health of others.

“What if people have the corona,” Vasquez said, “I don’t want to get myself or others sick.”

The San Felipe Del Rio CISD Board of Trustees previously stated an extension to online courses would be required if there was an increase in COVID-19 cases.

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