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First Coast families anxious, determined while gearing up for lifestyle change with virtual school

Over the next few days Duval County students who need laptops will pick them up and on Monday elementary students will get educational packets delivered.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It's a big weekend for Duval County students as they get the gear they need for virtual school, starting Monday.

According to Duval County Public Schools, over the next few days students who need laptops will pick them up, and, on Monday, elementary students will get educational packets delivered. Those will be combined with teleconferencing and the new online platform Duval HomeRoom, which middle and high schoolers will learn almost entirely on.

A lot of parents are feeling uneasy about the lifestyle changes with social distancing at home as their kids begin a whole new way of learning.

"I didn't think my son's first year of elementary school was gonna be homeschooling," Sarah Howard said.

RELATED: Virtual learning: 'Duval HomeRoom' starts Monday for DCPS students

Howard's son Logan starts virtual school next week.

"I have a very demanding job," she said. "I have a kindergartener that's gonna need one-on-one time to learn and I don't know how we're gonna be able to get through that. I'm not gonna be able to sit down with him and say, 'OK, you have to read this, you have to do that, you have to sing this.' They're gonna lose all the social."

Her son has special needs, which DCPS states some of Duval HomeRoom will be adjusted for and teachers will provide support.

For now, Sarah and Logan Howard are taking it one day at a time.

"I'm gonna figure it out," Howard said.

Monday is Duval Homeroom orientation day. By Friday the district wants all students to learn online.

By Sunday evening the website about Duval HomeRoom should be launched, where you can find curriculum links.

RELATED: DCPS, Clay schools ask parents to fill out survey to see if their children have computer, internet access

Some families in Duval County have already gone through a week of online learning. The charter schools' virtual program seems to be different than the one for public schools, but families' challenges are the same.

First Coast News asked Patricia Maroney and her son Matthew if the new technology his charter school is using is challenging.

"No," said Matthew

"Not for you, but for me!" Patricia said.

What can also be hard is getting into a routine.

"That's been a challenge also," Patricia said. "Is setting aside time for other things besides studying. Basically both working at the same time and take lunch about the same time, go out and get some exercise, he plays a little bit and I'll let him play on his phone a little bit and then we go back to work."

They say so far working and learning from home is going well.

Visit DCPS' page dedicated to updates about virtual learning during the pandemic here.

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