PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman toured the Christown YMCA to get a better understanding on students doing online learning.

Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman joins forces with YMCA:

"It gives me a full picture of what schools look like today because our kids, students are learning in a really unique way right now," Hoffman said.

The YMCA is helping students doing online learning who don't have a parent at home that can monitor their schoolwork all day. They are getting money from the CARES act which Hoffman said was to relieve pressure off schools. Hoffman says these community organizations help solve a major concern she's had since schools originally shut down in March.

"Where do the kids go that truly need childcare, kids of our essential workers, working parents, healthcare providers?" Hoffman said. "To see here they have a safe place to be learning, I think is really important for our community."

While some kids thrive in an online learning environment, others really miss having that in person instruction and opportunities to interact with peers, according to Hoffman. She is also  very concerned some students may fall behind and that may be because technology is out of reach.

"There are thousands of students who are having challenges with internet connectivity , who don't have internet at home," she said.

She says one of the bright spots of online learning is that schools are now making internet connection at home a priority for the first time. Hoffman is encouraging families to keep following health guidelines.

"Even though the peak of covid was in the summer we need to do everything we can to prevent future peaks. Stay masked, keep washing our hands, keep social distancing, those are really important so we can keep our schools open," she said


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