As students return to classrooms, Mt. Zion plans to phase out Schools Without Walls

Elizabeth Beyer:

When Monica Warren learned her church, Mt. Zion Baptist, planned to host an in-person tutoring program during the school day to supplement online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she knew she had to get her 11-year-old son enrolled.

Jeremiah Warren, a normally shy and introverted student, blossomed in the church’s Schools Without Walls program, she said. He began to come out of his shell and strike up conversations with other students.

After schools closed in March 2020 and before Mt. Zion launched Schools Without Walls, Jeremiah struggled with online learning. In September, Warren said her son didn’t log in to his online classroom on the first day of school because he was nervous and hadn’t yet had a chance to meet his fifth-grade teacher in person.

“It was hard for him. I feel like he’s more of an in-person type of student because he needs, not constant supervision, but knowing that someone is looking out for (him),” she said. But she wasn’t able to give him the guidance he needed to support his online learning at home because she needed to return to work at Edgewood College.