ELMIRA, N.Y. ( WETM) -Amid a pandemic, school districts in the Southern Tier have remained flexible in the way that they teach.

Teachers and students managed to show up in the face of adversity, from adjusting to new safety guidelines to working from home and perhaps the biggest challenge of all…virtual learning.

In Mid-February schools and districts in New York began closing their doors temporarily for cleaning of school buildings.

Towards the end of February, the CDC issued a warning for schools that they need to begin preparing for the coronavirus.

Madisen Jones, an eighth-grade student at Ernie Davis Academy, realized that once schools reopened, making sure that health protocols were put into place was important.

“You kind of learned to make sure you wear your mask when you are out in public because you want to make sure you’re as healthy as you can, so it wasn’t that bad when we had to wear masks in school,” said Jones.

2020 has been a year where technology replaced the classroom.

Schools nationwide began shifting to remote learning in March.

“We all have to make sure that we know our technology because if this ever happens again, we can always tell the people who haven’t dealt with it and help them out,” said Jones.

“In case this happens again we know what we’re doing and when we go back to school, I feel like it’s going to be different, but I’ll enjoy it,” said Kaelynn Thomas, an eighth-grade student at Ernie Davis Academy.

Now, we are beginning a new year. The question remains: What will the future of education look like?

“If I’m being honest, it’s harder to learn because we’re not in person. I think the teachers do it pretty well for being in their position, and I think the students are doing pretty good in handling it well too,” said Thomas.

“This past year has been challenging, but as we get more into it, I feel like I’m understanding it more and it’s easier,” said Thomas.