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Teacher finds way to get parents back into her classroom despite COVID-19 restrictions

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 19:02:21-05

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — A second-grade teacher in Bay Village found a way to get moms and dads into her classroom despite coronavirus restrictions.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, students, teachers, and staff are the only ones walking through the halls at Normandy Elementary School.

“We’ve really missed that opportunity to connect with parents in person. In years past, we’ve often had anywhere from 10 to 40 parent volunteers at any given time in the building,” said Dan Sebring, principal, Normandy Elementary School.

For Erin Johnson, who has a second-grader at Normandy, that time was always a bright spot in her day.

“It was always so wonderful to get to see your child in the school and how they’re interacting with the kids,” said Johnson.

The one-on-one time parents helped teachers provide is an important part of the school day, according to second-grade teacher Kelsy Hoy.

“These little targeted lessons and things like that are very powerful,” said Hoy.

Hoy turned to parent Zoom rooms to bring homeroom visits back into the curriculum.

“Do the same exact thing we were doing in the building with the kids,” said Johnson.

After completing a background check, parents like Johnson can log into Zoom to work with students.

“This enables me to pull a student or two students out to two different spots in the hallway and do a small reading group with a parent. When they get into small groups they just absolutely light up,” said Hoy.

Johnson, a mother of four, is happy to help, especially during this pandemic.

“She’s just very happy to have any help that she can have. This has been really tough, and they kept the kids so engaged and so safe,” said Johnson.