Back-to-School: OCPS students brace for first day of virtual learning

Parents express technical difficulties ahead of online start

Orange County Public Schools will be the first district in Central Florida to log in for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year. 

Melissa Burstein said her son will begin kindergarten with more than 200,000 students planning to fire up their computers and tablets for LaunchEd.

“I’m really upset, honestly,” Burstein said. “You don’t think that your kindergartner is going to be starting school on an iPad.”

As a single mother, she said she is relieved a plan is in place and that her son’s elementary school has been organized. But she said she is already dealing with hiccups.

“I think the hardest part is really going to be on Orange County because they have told us to test stuff and my stuff already isn’t working,” Burstein said.

Despite technical difficulties, Burstein admits she is fortunate to be working from home to help navigate any problems that may arise. 

“We’re suppose to be logged on at 8:45 tomorrow morning and at this point what he is logging on to does not log in,” Burstein said. “Hopefully that will be magically fixed overnight.”

The OCPS mother said virtual classroom learning is the best option for her family amid the pandemic. 

Burstein said so far her family is as prepared as they can be at home, but hope at some point things revert back to normal. 

“I just don’t know what it’s going to be like in a year,” she said. “If he goes back he’s going to go into a school.”

OCPS officials have said they will not penalize students for technological difficulties during this process.