Going Viral: Lessons Learned During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Listen on The Exchange and during Morning Edition

Siouxland Public Media’s focusing on the experiences of parents, teachers and children as they return to school. 

Will cases of COVID-19 spike with children back in the classroom?  How will parents be able to navigate changes that might emerge with the need to protect the community? 

Join us as we follow four families navigating the uncharted educational landscape. 

 

Ways to Connect

As part of our continuing series, "GOING VIRAL: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic," we once again speak with Donny and Stacey Reblitz of Moville.  Donny is on the Woodbury Central School Board and Stacey teaches in the elementary school.

Stacey and Donny talk about their fears about the lack of a facemask requirement at the schools.  Their son Jackson had to stay home for a week in quarantine after he had contact with a another student who tested positive for the coronavirus.  

Donny Reblitz in on the Woodbury Central School District School Board and his wife Stacey is a teacher in the elementary school.  They have a unique perspective on how issues like facemask mandates affect students, teachers and families.  Their children Sadie and Jackson learned this first hand, when Jackson had contact with a fellow student who tested positive for the Coronavirus. 

This week on The Exchange, we have an update on our project, "GOING VIRAL": Lessons Learned During the Pandemic."

I asked my daughter Katie what she thought about the hybrid system that was in place in the Sioux City schools.  She found it difficult to feel connected to instructors and other students.  Katie is back now in person at North Middle School.

In this interview for the GOING VIRAL project, I talk with Donny Reblitz of Moville. We  meet Donny and he tells us about his family.  His wife Stacey Reblitz is a para-professional at Woodbury Central Schools.  Their two younger children Sadie and Jackson attend school there.  Donny is on the school board.  

Donny talks about his concern for his children's and his wife's safety.  Stacey works in the elementary school.  

Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

A school year started with uncertainty.  Will cases spike with children back in the classroom?  How will parents be able to navigate changes that might emerge with the need to protect the community?  

One thing as a parent you might notice is the excitement for students to return class and their friends. 

Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer discovered that while driving her seven-year-old to school for the first time since March 13th.  

Pam Venturi

Pam Venturi of Sioux City, is a single mother of five between the ages of 9 and 15.  One battles lupus and stays at home for school. All the children attend Catholic school in Sioux City. 

Pam set up a hidden recording to talk about their experiences the first week of school.  You’re going to hear an edited and sometimes chaotic version of their conversation over Chinese food with Antonia, Bernadette, Nico, Maria Paola and Kateri.

Pam Venturi

COVID-19 created chaos for school districts, educators and of course parents.  The Venturi family includes Pam Venturi, who is a single mom to five school-aged children.  The kids who range in age from 9 to 15 plan to attend class in-person and virtually.

The night before school started, Pam talked to her family about going back school for the first time in several months. 

Donna Behrens

Students in the Sioux City Community School District returned to the classroom full time in September 8, 2020 after doing a hybrid model for the first two weeks. 

During hybrid learning, students either attended school two days a week in person (Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday) for two days a week.  They work on lessons at home the other dayss.  Families can still choose to keep their children home.

Donna Behrens

“It’s becoming a little real and that concerns me.” - Donna Behrens, Sioux City mother and Perry Creek PTA President.

Donna and Tate Behrens provided Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer with an update almost a week after the school year started.  

The Siouxland Public Media project, “Going Viral: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic” provides insight with families, teachers, school leaders during a year of educational uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Donna Behrens

The Siouxland Public Media project, “Going Viral: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic” provides insight with families, teachers, school leaders during a year of educational uncertainty due to COVID-19.

The Behrens family of Sioux City consists of Donna and Todd and their son, Tate.  Donna is the current Perry Creek Elementary School President; a post she's held for several years.  Todd is the Director of the Sioux City Art Center.  Tate just started 5th grade at Perry Creek.

This week on The Exchange, we are introducing a new ongoing project. It's called: Going Viral: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic. We focus on parents, teachers, and children's experiences as students return to school with the Coronavirus still raging in some parts of Iowa.