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During pandemic, student needs should come first

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Front Porch

My name is Aminata Aw, I am a mother of three children in Denver Public Schools. Navigating the school system has always been tough for me because I do not speak English very well. I rely on organizations like the African Leadership Group (ALG) and my neighbors to help me with navigating the school system.

This Covid 19 pandemic has been very tough for our family, but it has been more difficult because the uncertainties with my kids’ education. My husband and I had to adjust our work schedules and cut our hours to make sure one of us is home for the kids when they our doing their online learning. As immigrant parents, who cannot read, write, and speak the language our children use at school, trying to assist my kids has been very challenging for me. We are not tech savvy and on many occasions the kids are having Wi-Fi issues. I know from speaking to their mentor Ousman Ba at ALG that they are not doing so well. This is deeply concerning for me. I would like to hear from the DPS Board of Education what is being done to ensure students like mine are progressing academically.

My kids are fortunate to have joined the African Leadership Group learning pod where they can receive tutoring and supervision. Now, I send them to the pod where I know they are getting help that I could not provide for them. I can go back to my normal work hours, but I am still concerned with how much learning they are receiving from online school.

Members of the school board, I hear your concerns about the safety of staff during the pandemic, but you are not addressing what is being done for students who’re not engaging in learning this fall.

Aminata Aw
Aminata Aw is a resident of Denver's Montclair neighborhood.

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