“If someone is saying, ‘Hey Mr. Murray, I can’t get in touch with this student,’ then I’m like, ‘Just give me the number and I’ll call them,'” he told CNN. “And I call people all the time and parents know, you know, I’ll call you at 7 in the morning. I’ll call you at 9:30 at night. Yeah, I don’t have a problem that.”
It’s hard to know if that number is accurate because the 79,187 students enrolled in Baltimore City Public Schools were able to virtually attend class without logging on, district spokesperson Andre Riley told CNN. But going forward, all students will be required to log on.
Murray said he is making a practice of tracking down students to make sure they sign on and don’t fall behind.
“We are like MacGyver. We’re gonna do whatever we have to do to try to get the student in class. We want to get these kids in class,” he said.
But technology isn’t the only obstacle.
School systems across the country are providing free technology and tech support teams, but students are still missing the oversight they would get when they go to a physical campus.
“The oversight that students have now really are themselves. So the students that are more successful are the students who are diligent and making sure that they are going through the steps,” Murray said.
The way to make remote learning successful, Murry said, is for everyone in a student’s life to work together and answer the phone when he calls.
The Houston Independent School District’s website went down earlier this month as more than 200,000 students began virtual learning, for example. In Florida, the Miami-Dade school district was the victim of a series of cyberattacks.
Other districts had to delay the start of their year because of issues with overloaded traffic and viruses in the network.
“In this unprecedented school year, we must remain flexible and quickly adapt to changing conditions and circumstances,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said in a statement.