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Despite return to in-person classes, many who chose homeschooling during pandemic stay home

Since the pandemic began, Ethan Kemper, a high school junior, has been homeschooling with an online program called Build Your Library. His mother says he will not return to his public school in Banks, OR. (Jacoba Kemper photo)

By May 2020, Ethan Kemper had all but given up on school. Banks High School, where he was finishing his freshman year, had gone to a pass/no pass grading system after having in-person school derailed by the coronavirus. 

Jacoba Kemper said her son’s classes felt unplanned, communication between the teachers and Ethan lagged and filling out and returning packets dragged on and felt empty for him. 

“It was just, for lack of a better word, lame,” she said. Ethan, who has a mild learning disability as a result of brain cancer when he was . . .