Parents, students frustrated by delays in learning through Gaston Virtual Academy

Remote learning delayed for thousands of students in Gaston Co.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Some parents in Gaston County are upset over the way this school year has begun.

The district is opening with a mix of in-person and remote learning, but more than 8,000 students chose the Gaston Virtual Academy, which is a fully remote option.

Classes were supposed to kick off on Monday, but some parents say two days later they have still not been able to access anything.

Caleb Sisk says his 6 and 7-year-old daughters began the day not knowing who their teachers were.

The statewide NCEdCloud outage meant they could not log on right away, but even once they did they were met with more challenges.

“It still had them enrolled in their home schools instead of the virtual academy,” Sisk said.

As of Wednesday, his kids are still not learning. He says later in the day the teachers did send emails to set up virtual meet-and-greets.

“My younger daughter her teacher reached out today and said they won’t have any assignments due for two weeks because they haven’t worked the kinks out yet,” he said.

Even that is more communication than parents like Camille Soto are getting.

She says they got an email on Monday blaming technical issues, but nothing since. Her two children still do not know who will be teaching them and when.

“The whole entire summer I was waiting for school and now I’m confused what am I supposed to do,” her 14-year-old son Aiden said.

She says when she called the district office they told her she would be reached out to by teachers.

“They’ll get to you guys, it’ll be by the end of the day.... nothing,” she said.

As of Wednesday night her family has had zero contact from teachers. She expects more.

“My children and the over 8,000 students need to be guided,” she said. “They need to know what are the next steps.”

In a statement, a spokesperson from the district said:

“Enrollment in the Virtual Academy exceeds 8,000 students. This is a significant number of students. Even through last week, we had students/parents contacting us about enrolling in the Virtual Academy, and we have tried to accommodate them, which means we have had to adjust schedules and make other changes. We have been sharing information with students and parents and placing information on the Academy’s website. If you have a parent who has not received any information, please have the parent contact us so we can help, (704) 866-6100.”

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