Schools Closed, Computers Open How the drastic change in education due to COVID-19 has affected students and families in the Bellingham area

By Ella Banken, Molly Todd, Allyson Roberts, Zack Jimenez and Alix Condit


The Acevedo Family

Student’s age: 7 (2nd grade)

Ethan Acevedo is learning to construct sentences and paragraphs at home under the guidance of his mom, Lisa. Writing isn’t his favorite subject, but he is thrilled to have unlimited reading time. Ethan is happy to be able to play with his two rabbits as much as he wants, but he does miss his friends. For Lisa, a high school special education teacher, online learning has presented challenges for connecting with her students. She worries that it doesn’t allow students, including her son, to develop valuable team working skills. But, they are making the best of the situation. Listen to hear their perspectives.

The Brennan Family

Student’s age: 13 (7th grade)

The Brennan Family is very social, so it’s been an adjustment to work and learn from home. Avi, a seventh grader, fills his time outside of school with video games, baking, and playing with their dog, Blue. Kristan, a preschool teacher, reflects on how their lives have slowed down due to the pandemic. For both mother and son, they are ready to see their friends without masks on, and not through a screen. Listen to them talk a bit more about being at home during this time. 


The Epps Family

Student’s ages: 12 (7th grade), 15 (9th grade)

Caleb and Noah Epps are navigating middle school and high school through a screen. On top of their school work, the brothers are each engaged in several extracurriculars and leadership roles, which they have not put on pause, even during a pandemic. Their mom, Shannon, is adjusting to having her sons at the house all the time, and navigating routines. Listen to their experiences as a family.

The Marks Family

Student’s age: 12 (5th grade)

Online learning has not been an easy transition for Ramona, a fifth grader. Her father Noah talks about his experience being a temporary stay-at-home parent and working through school assignments with Ramona. She attends a Montessori school, which has a unique style of teaching that Noah isn’t completely familiar with. Online learning does not work for every student, and this experience has caused the family to rethink their approach to school in the future. Listen to Noah and his sister Kristan’s thoughts on this situation. 

Schools Closed, Computers Open

Hear more from these Bellingham students as they discuss the good and the bad of online learning.