English learners may be left behind during COVID-19 crisis

SUSSEX CO., DE – With more and more coronavirus cases popping up all across Delaware educators are depending on online teaching now more than ever. But for English learners and low-income students, it is a tough situation.

“Many of these students don’t have the resources that other students would have, especially now when we’re talking about virtual learning, that is a tremendous drawback,” said Gemma Cabrera, a community bilingual liaison at North Georgetown Elementary School.

People like Cabrera say some of these students do not have the technology or help at home to keep up with their lessons, which could ultimately have a huge impact on their education.

“Many of these students are already struggling to learn the language and besides that, now they cannot communicate with a person who can visually teach them things or who can auditorily teach them,” said Cabrera.

According to Cabrera, many of these students and their teachers depend on bilingual support staff to help them make it through their daily lessons, so not having that is going to be a challenge.

“So, all of that is not available and it will create gaps with the students,” said Cabrera.

To make things even harder we are told many kids are under stress right now as their parents adjust to this new normal.

“Even when they’re home, they may be under a lot of stress,” said Rony Baltazar-Lopez, a school board member at the Milford School District.

“Their parents may have been laid off or their parents are stressed about having to pay their mortgage or other bills,” said Baltazar-Lopez.

We are told officials are now brainstorming solutions such as providing technology and video content to students to make sure these kids get the education they deserve.

Educators say students who do not have access to Wi-Fi at home will have access to physical packets that they can pick up from their individual school districts.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware