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On the road, thanks to virtual classes Anchorage teen begins school year traveling with family

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 9:15 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -

If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic students would overwhelmingly prefer to be in school right now, in classes, with their friends and even their teachers. Parents would fee the same way. Since that isn’t happening everywhere, since many students across the state and country are having to attend school virtually, it does open up some interesting options and possibilities. While a student still needs to be at the computer screen when class begins that computer screen can really be anywhere in the world so long as it has internet access.

Lori Brandt is taking advantage of this unusual freedom. Brant was in Fort Collins Colorado this past week helping her son get Ticus get settled into his first semester of college. Her daughter Trophe, a student in the Anchorage School District ACT program for special needs students, is with her.

“Well we were bringing her little brother down here to Colorado State, his first year, engineering program so I thought as long as we have to zoom we might as well make a trip of it.” Says Brandt.

Trophe, who is high functioning Autistic, is doing her best with the online classes though it’s not an ideal situation. “It’s hard to talk on zoom because there’s another person talking and it goes on and on.” Says Trophe.

She also misses that student teacher connection telling me that “I like to see people in person so it’s easier.”

Those challenges wouldn’t be any different if Trophe was logged on from her living room so while it’s far from perfect, the travel doesn’t have an impact on her ability to learn.

“We stay here in our hotel room, she zooms at 9 AM everyday, it’s 11 o’clock our time so that works out well, then we get done at noon and we start our day and go out and see some new ventures.” Says Brandt.

This method of attending class is unconventional, and in a normal year likely wouldn’t be an option, but 2020 isn’t a normal year and the Brandt family is taking advantage of this unusual opportunity turning the edge of the pandemic cloud into their own personal silver lining.

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