LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Tuesday, Jefferson County Public Schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year.
For the first six weeks, students will learn remotely, as JCPS once again implements non-traditional instruction. Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio has stressed this version of NTI, called NTI 2.0, is an enhanced version of what teachers and students experienced in the Spring.
Ahead of the first day of school, teachers like Mary Baunjoko were making last-minute preparations for their virtual classrooms.
“This year I’m working in my kitchen,” Baunjoko said, “So I’m trying to set up a workspace, a learning space in my kitchen.”
Starting Tuesday, Baunjoko will be teaching third grade for Byck Elementary School. On Monday, she was trying to make her home classroom look and feel as normal as possible.
“[I am] trying to do things so the kids can, you know, get their logins, log in to our classrooms digitally, and just be able to I guess emulate what it would be if they were inside the classroom,” Baunjoko said.
On the other side of the equation, parents like Dor’Ricka Collier are making some adjustments of their own.
“I try not to worry too much, but the thought of it, you can’t help but worry,” Collier said.
Collier’s daughter Destiny starts kindergarten on Tuesday, but neither she nor her husband can work from home to oversee her education. Because of that, Collier spent Monday emailing teachers and daycare in an attempt to find a workaround to their situation.
“Now it’s like the ball is in our court,” Collier said. “It’s like you determine whether or not your child will be successful in their learning. And the fact that this is her first year of school, it kind of sets the tone for how her school experience is going to go.”
Undoubtedly, other parents will face a similar issue.
It’s one Baunjoko understands first-hand. She’s a mother of two herself and hopes that perspective can help her understand what other parents are about to go through.
“It does give me a little bit perspective and it gives me a little bit more empathy of what our parents can go through during this process,” Baunjoko said. “So I’m hoping I can be a guide for them because I’m kind of in the same boat with them.”