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At Home Virtual Learning with Kids

On March 16, 2020, Nutley Public Schools started virtual learning at home due to the rapid outbreak of COVID-19.  Students and staff are all at home trying to make the best of this time and are trying to stay connected and active with school work.  While this was something to adjust to, many are doing their best to keep up with learning and teaching at home. 


Many staff members are at home with families and young children while also keeping up with their work and teaching their students.  The Director of the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for grades PreK-5, Mrs. Janine Loconsolo, is one of these members who is practicing social distancing, while working from home and taking care of her family.  She is living with her husband and two children.  Her daughter who is in the second grade and her son who is in preschool in another Essex County town.


An average day for Mrs. Loconsolo consists of having meetings, doing work, taking care of her kids, and then spending time with her family.  Her day first starts with helping her kids set up breakfast and getting them set for the day.  Her daughter starts off her day with her schoolwork while her son has preschool meetings three times a week.  While the whole family is at work, Mrs. Loconsolo can attend to her work via Google Meet  After all the day’s work is done, family time is very important to the Loconsolos.  Mrs. Loconsolo states, “A normal day is usually pretty chaotic, but it is nice to have so much time to spend together as a family.”


Though virtual learning seems less stressful and easier than a normal day inside the NHS, it can be the complete opposite.  Time management, mental health, and many other aspects come and go throughout the day and many need to make sure they get out a bit and don’t start to become cramped inside all day.  What Mrs. Loconsolo and her family go for walks or bike rides to make sure they are taking the time they need for themselves.  After her children go to bed though, Mrs. Loconsolo either watches T.V. or reads to make sure she has her own peaceful time. 


On the other hand, stress is also present throughout the day.  Things come up last-minute such as calls, hard assignments for the kids and more.  When Mrs. Loconsolo’s children become overwhelmed with work, it can be a little hectic in the home.  With her husband also home at work with meetings, they both try to balance out who can help at what times.  Juggling assignments through her workday and helping her kids all at once can be a struggle and was a hard adjustment, but Mrs. Loconsolo was able to handle it.  


Virtual learning took time for most schools, students, and staff to adjust to, but over time it became manageable and an easy way for students and teachers to stay connected through this difficult time.  Mrs. Loconsolo and her family were able to make this adjustment even though there were some struggles they worked together and were able to overcome the struggles.  Even though most days can be chaotic they make the best of it and try to look on the bright side.