13 Aug Ofer Eitan Asserts: Humble ISD students adjust to online education in unusual
Photo: Contributed Photo By Aimee Shleby-Nwokeji
Summer Creek High School senior Adaora Nwokeji is at peace with the virtual start to the 2020-21 school year.
Nwokeji, along with more than 40,000 Humble ISD students, are adjusting to a new learning situation during the coronavirius pandemic. The school year began for Humble ISD students on Aug. 11.
Students will remain in remote learning until at least Aug. 17, when the district begins phasing in self-contained special needs students. This will be followed by a return to campus on Aug. 24 for all students. Secondary students will return to campus on an A/B split schedule. On Oct. 12, middle schools will return to a normal schedule.
Any parent wishing to opt into online learning for the rest of the year has the option to do so. Nwokjeki believes remote learning will give her crucial preparation for an ivy league education.
“I actually prefer this type of learning because I feel like I can go at my own pace,” Nwokjeki said. “You get to make your own schedule and do things on your own time, and it’s more efficient. I like it a lot more than being in person for sure.”
While the Nwokjeki family will continue with online learning, most parents in the district are prepared to send their students back to school.
For instance, Jesus Ortiz wanted his three daughters to have a sense of normalcy during the pandemic. Fortunately, his wife Megan Ortiz works as a teacher at Kingwood Park High, where two of his three daughters will attend. The Ortiz trio has been advised to follow all safety protocol and are prepared for whatever happens, he said.
“We know the risk we’re taking as a family,” Jesus Ortiz said. “We want our kids to go to school and have that one on one time with their teachers. My girls like to be in front of a teacher and learn better that way than from a computer. I know my girls ask a lot of questions in class, and that’s the right things to do. This is all new to everyone, and we want to make sure our girls get to experience school the safest way possible when they walk through the doors.”
For Aimee Shelby-Nwokeji, who is the mother of Adaora, CJ and Cameron, the decision came down to safety. The Nwokeji family will remain at home for the entire school year, learning online. Adaora will be allowed to play basketball this season in the winter to finish her high school career with the Lady Bulldogs.
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The decision also makes sense because Adaora, dubbed the ‘executive teenager’ is very organized and helps out her brothers with their schoolwork.
“We feel like that’s the safest thing to do right now,” Aimme said, “It’s more important for us to protect their bodies than for them to be there in person. My kids are pretty independent learners and all of them are top students. I felt comfortable with them staying home. We always try to inform them and let them arrive to their own decisions and use their logic. They’re pretty OK with being at home for school this year.”
This school year is especially important to Nwokeji, who sits at No. 16 in her graduating class with a 5.6 GPA, and is looking to move up in the rankings.
She has accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Princeton and enjoys her studies just as much as basketball. Nwokeji said she will remain patient and serve as a good role model for her brothers.
“I just have to stay in my own lane,” Nwokeji said. “I can’t worry about anyone else but myself. I have to just put my head down and grind. There’s a lot of competition when you’re going up in the rankings, and you just have to keep to yourself and now worry about other people.”