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Freshman year, at a distance: Stories of starting high school at a distance

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At 14, aspiring singer King Bethel is used to being noticed and appreciated in a typical school setting. What happens when school is all online? Will he shine over a screen? 

“Whenever I practiced with my school choir, we used to always listen to each other — the altos, tenors, sopranos,” the ninth-grader told Chalkbeat reporter Eleanore Catolico. “Whenever we sang a song, we learned the lyrics and the harmonies at the same time. We benefited off each other instead of versus singing it by yourself. Now, you have to learn everything on your own without people helping you along the way.” 

For King, the first week of remote learning was about adjustment.

Read more of King’s story, the latest in their new series on what it’s like to start high school — a statistically important year in determining academic and life success —  during the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, they introduced you to Jalan Clemmons, a Memphis ninth grader starting classes with a whole new crop of students and few opportunities to make friends. 

More from Chalkbeat bureaus on navigating high school during COVID-19: Denver is bringing students back, but many high schools are sticking with virtual learning.

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