HOUSTON, TX — After studying online and attending virtual classes since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, incoming seventh-grader, Kirsten Aparicio, finally returned to in-person classes in June for summer school. The 12-year-old Ortiz Middle School student believed that in-person learning at her school has been the secret of her success this summer.
Aparicio stated that she now feels prepared for the seventh grade and ready to escape from her shell. She said, “When I came back, it’s like the old me again, and I’m making good grades.”
Aparicio is not the only HISD student who found virtual learning challenging and arduous at times.
Plenty of schools have been receiving a lot of enrollments for summer school as the district prepares to return to full classroom instruction in the coming school year. The parents and especially the students are trying to close the learning gap created by a year of virtual learning and classes.
“It’s better because I get to connect with the teacher in person if I have any questions or don’t understand. It was harder to learn math during virtual, and now it’s like finally I’m back on track,” explained Aparicio.
Ortiz Middle School, a campus widely known for the Performing and Visual Arts, offers a wide variety of programs like Band, Mariachi, Dance, Choir and Theatre Arts. Aparicio is an aspiring actress, and she is thrilled to take part in many of the programs, particularly theatre arts, claiming that it’s fun to see the story behind a character and how they develop.
Tina Garcia, Ortiz Teacher Specialist said the change in Aparicio is evident, even in just the three short weeks since summer school began. She added, “She’s really thrived during summer school. It’s great to see her here improving her grades and getting excited for next year.”
Being the last of her family to attend Ortiz, Aparicio claimed that she was excited to attend school in person and finally witness before her eyes what her older siblings had been talking about.
Aparicio said, “My brothers came here and told me that I was missing out on a lot of good stuff, like making friends and talking to people. I’m not really sure what to expect next year, but I’m really trying to be the best I can be to graduate and be somebody.”
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