‘Cool to experience something new’: Students in Henrico kick of first nine weeks of learning online

‘Cool to experience something new’: Students in Henrico kick of first nine weeks of learning online

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Thousands of students in Henrico County kicked off the first nine weeks of school online Tuesday.

While some school systems in Metro Richmond had some technology issues throughout the day, most students in Henrico were able to get through several classes during this new normal.

“It’s been very different but it’s also been really cool to experience something new,” said Hermitage High School student Alexis Forkey.

Forkey kicked off her sophomore year at home, with her younger siblings sitting not too far away, which came in handy throughout the day.

“They’ve needed help from me a few times, but I think their day is going pretty good,” Forkey said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Henrico County Public Schools spokesman Andy Jenks said they have not had any major issues when it comes to the technology used during virtual learning. However, there were people on standby helping families on a case-by-case basis getting laptop issues resolved, passwords reset, etc.

“My brother couldn’t get the Microsoft Teams [to work],” Forkey said.

However, for the straight-A honor roll student, Forkey said she did not have any issues. She added the interaction with teachers has been positive.

“They’ve been very supportive and understanding of our situation,” she said.

However, the sophomore did say the lessons in classes have been a bit different.

“On the computer, I don’t really have to talk or show my face,” Forkey said. “So, that’s different from in school, because in school you have to participate; like raise your hand and speak.”

While that may be a learning curve of online teaching and learning, Forkey said she is optimistic about what the next nine weeks will hold.

“I was nervous that it wouldn’t be a good day because it’s different, but it’s pretty good,” she added.

HCPS did post the following information on its website about tech support:

  • Middle school and high school students: HCPS is providing in-person technical support for critical issues at your assigned schools.
  • Elementary school students: If you need in-person technical support for critical issues, please go to your closest high school.

HCPS Technology staff will be readily accessible for students and families. Hours of support will be 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. When you go, please wear masks and practice social distancing.

Examples of critical issues are:

  • Device will not power on.
  • Device will not connect to any WiFi signal.
  • Device will not accept login credentials.
  • Broken screen or microphone.

All non-critical issues can be emailed to helpdesk@henrico.k12.va.us and HCPS staff will respond as soon as possible.

For questions not related to computers or technology issues, try starting with your teacher, counselor or school principal. You may also contact the Henrico County Public Schools hotline at 804-501-5655, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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