‘Just breathe’: Newport News school leaders give advice for a successful virtual school year


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — As students head back to school Tuesday with online classes, the day will look much different than last year. Students will log into classes, instead of walking the halls.

That’s a big change for Deer Park third grader Vera Wood.

“I want to go back and see my friends.”

Ashlynn Brunelle, Vera’s mom, said during the day she will take online classes with family members.

“I have two helping hands. My mom works from home. She will be there to guide, not necessarily facilitate, but help if she has any questions. Then my aunt, who is retired … will help out.”

Brunelle said the class schedule looks promising, but she’s worried about how teachers are going to keep the young students’ attention while on the screen.

Students will have several breaks and opportunities to ask questions, according to Dr. Tina Manglicmot, the Newport News Public School chief academic officer.

“We do this in the classroom every day, there is no difference when you are working virtually. It’s kind of the same thing. It’s just how we are going to do it is a little bit different.”

Dr. Manglicmot suggests parents set up a quiet place for students to work without distractions. Children should dress for class and start the day as normal with breakfast.

“Just breathe, it’s going to be OK. We are all embarking on something that we’ve not encountered before.”

If you need help logging in, Newport News schools created ‘how to’ videos, which show step by step the log in process.

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