By Anthony J. Wallace
Cronkite News 

Creating a new normal: A Navajo school district and its students fight to overcome amid COVID-19


Last updated 12/8/2020 at 11:10am

Megan Marples/Cronkite News

Second-grader Winona Begaye spends hours each day at her family's kitchen table completing school assignments. Even as other schools across the U.S. reopened this fall, schools on the Navajo reservation stayed virtual. COVID-19 has ravaged the Navajo Nation, claiming more than 600 lives.

PIÑON, Ariz.-One student runs 85 feet up a hill every morning, just to get a cellphone signal so he can call in his attendance. Another moved to Phoenix by himself, after his only parent died of COVID-19, to work construction while going to school online.

Then there's the high school senior who spends six hours most days doing homework in a car next to a school bus turned Wi-Fi hotspot-the only way some kids on the Navajo Nation can get assignments to their teachers.

These kids share a dream: to graduate high school, find a way to go to college, get a degree, land a dream job-get out of th...

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