Shift to Online Learning during School Closure

Shift to Online Learning during School Closure
Posted on 04/10/2020
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When our district shifted to online learning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, hundreds of students started connecting with their teachers in a brand new way.

Our District had been surveying families to ensure that everyone had the technology needed for online learning. “Our elementary students use iPads and our secondary students use Chromebooks.“ said Director of Leadership and Learning, Deidre Roemer. “Although many families have computer devices at home, some did not. We made sure everyone that needed technology was able to get it including digital hotspots providing families access to the internet.”

“Our Professional Development Day on Monday, March 16, 2020 was used to plan for online learning. Students already use several online platforms in the classroom. Our goal was to enhance that. Our teachers created some amazing resources for our families and have quickly learned how to use Zoom and Google Apps to connect to our learners each day. We’ve had a kindergarten class conduct their ‘morning meeting’ with 23 students present and an orchestra rehearsal as well -- all online.”

Teachers take attendance by sending a daily “learning task” they send to students. Students have until 11:59 p.m. each night to respond. Learning tasks are a simple way to see if students are progressing. Students are also working on long-term projects and required coursework. As many learners are helping at home or watching siblings, the time frame allows them to do course work in the evening. The District is working to be as flexible as possible during this challenging time.

“We will be following up with any student who is not submitting learning tasks. We want each family to get the support they need. If their child is sick and cannot complete the learning task, they must report the absence to their school's Main Office as they have always done,” said Superintendent, Dr. Marty Lexmond. 

Throughout the District, Physical Education, Art, Music, World Language, and Career and Technical Education teachers are using Google classroom or other websites to provide students with instruction. Gifted and Talented Teachers, English Learning Teachers, Special Education Teachers, Reading Specialists, and Educational Assistants are working with content teachers to make sure materials are accessible and meet the needs of all learners.

School Counselors, School Social Workers, and School Psychologists are also accessible. They continue to connect daily to students they were regularly seeing at school. They are keeping in touch with staff and families that might need support or resources. Innovation Coaches put links and resources together for parents and teachers so they can easily find everything that is needed. Teachers are also doing ‘office hours’ each day during which they are responding to emails and doing online chats. 

“Teachers have worked hard to help students continue learning. They are also providing some much needed stability. By using new and creative strategies to engage learners and maintain positive relationships, we’re supporting our learners during an unprecedented time. It has been inspiring to see our staff come together to learn new platforms, upload lessons, and explore online resources,” said Superintendent, Dr. Marty Lexmond.

“It is important that parents and students know “school is open” for online learning. Teachers, staff and school leaders will be working hard to help students stay on track while we are apart.”