(CEDAR HILL, TX) A year ago, the four McGrew siblings were all enrolled at Bray Elementary School. The first day of school in August 2019 was filled with the excitement of seeing friends and walking the hallways.
The COVID-19 Pandemic changed all of that, and the first day of 2020-2021 classes is being done virtually, through the month of September.
And while Alysah, 9, Alyviah, 8 and Geordon, 6, are all still enrolled at Bray, Saniyah, 11, has graduated and enrolled at Bessie Coleman Middle School.
Their parents, Alzena and George McGrew, said they have done their best to meet the challenges of Flex Learning.
“We recognize our children’s’ personalities and allow them to be who they are,” Alzena said. “We see their different gifts and appreciate them.”
The couple credits the support of district and campus leaders with making it successful.
“We have access to the leadership – they’re available and they’re visible,” Alzena said. “They know us, and we know them.”
George works as a Finance Manager for Pepsi Co. and Alzena is a stay at home mother who supports the four children with their Flex Learning. They moved to Cedar Hill from the St. Louis area.
“We love the way the community and the district collaborate – it allows the kids opportunities to be leaders,” Alzena said. “We love how it is a small town atmosphere, with close proximity to Dallas.”
The McGrew Family has remained optimistic throughout the Pandemic, citing their reliance on prayer and faith.
They have exhibited that optimism by sharing photos on WFAA-TV’s #ReasonstoSmile and participating in Cedar Hill ISD’s Virtual Convocation last month.
Saniyah was part of a Facebook commercial about scholars who were graduating from one school to another.
Because in-person classes were canceled in March, Saniyah said she was sad to miss Bray Graduation, plus other fifth grade milestones.
Geordon missed out on what would have been his first field trip. The Bray Kindergarten Class was scheduled to visit the Dallas Zoo, before the Pandemic canceled everything.
When school was originally canceled, the McGrew siblings’ initial thought was ‘ok, an extra week of Spring Break.’
But any sense of an extended vacation soon gave way to disappointment when the closure was extended, eventually through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
Alzena said the siblings are “self-sufficient” and oftentimes, the older two will assist the younger two with their school work.
CHISD is scheduled to add the traditional in-person learning option on October 6, but the McGrews are still weighing their options. They are more likely to allow their older children to return first, because they are in a better position to practice social distancing.
“I’m excited to see how it all turns out,” Saniyah said. “I’m excited to see my friends, even if it’s only on a screen.”