Students, Parents Struggle With Missing School In NH, Mass
Now that school is officially closed for the rest of the year, students and parents feeling the loss.
BOSTON (CBS) –Governors in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have ordered schools closed for the remainder of the academic year. And families are now preparing to spend even more time at home.
The feeling of loss can be overwhelming news for students of all ages. Especially for graduating seniors, like Francilina Barbosa.
“It’s sad because some of us are first-generation students and we can’t even walk the stage,” said Barbosa. The 18-year-old is the oldest of five children; her parents immigrated to Boston from Cape Verde.
Barbosa is grinding through distance learning to graduate from Dearborn Stem Academy. She’s college-bound and plans to pursue a bachelor’s in biology. Northeastern, UMass Boston and Providence College make up the shortlist of choices.
She says she’s disappointed her high school experience ended so abruptly.
“Walking the stage is a part of that; getting your diploma is a part of that; taking pictures with your family on your graduation day is part of that. And now we won’t have it,” said Barbosa.
Still, the 18-year-old remains optimistic and encourages fellow students to do the same. “I know it’s really hard just keep your head up. I don’t even know how you’re going to receive your diploma, but when you [do] receive it, take pictures,” Barbosa said with a smile.
Then there are the parents who have to balance it all while working from home. Concetta Martello’s is trying to keep up with two boys under 11.
“Some days are difficult. They’re used to the atmosphere in the school which is definitely more structured than sitting at a dining room table,” Martello told WBZ-TV.
Feelings of optimism and support are what school psychologist Ashley Benoit said parents should focus on. She’s trying it all to keep her students engaged. She sometimes builds lesson plans around her puppies. And even created a rap about social distancing. So far, it’s gotten more than 4,000 views on YouTube.
Benoit says a child’s mental health trumps academics.
“Parents should focus on making sure their kids feel safe and supported. Really use this time to work on your connections and maybe things that really can’t happen in the classroom, like teaching them how to cook your favorite meal or baking or doing chores,” Benoit said.
Stressing that if we can come out of this kinder, we’ll all be better for it.