School’s closed, but education continues
School may be out, but teachers are still teaching, and students are still learning.
To help slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, schools across the nation have closed.
Granbury school district campuses are no exception, but teachers and students go online in a virtual classroom setting.
Oak Woods Elementary teacher Brandi Richeson painted the following picture:
On Monday morning teachers send a Skyward email, a Remind notification or a Dojo alert with that week’s lesson plan for their child’s grade level. (If there are multiple kids in different grade levels, they will all get an alert from their child’s teachers).
The parents then go in and check every subject, every day.
Students are given a hightech option (something that requires a computer) and a low-tech option (something that doesn’t require a computer) for the pupils to pick from each day.
They will do whatever assignment they choose, and if it’s high tech the teachers can see what they submit. If it’s a low-tech assignment they pick, parents can snapshot a picture of it and text it to the teacher for documentation that it’s completed.
This was if for some reason their technology device isn’t working or getting a connection, they will be given an opportunity to do something else.
Oak Woods has also been utilizing Flipgrid, which allows teachers or the kids to make videos. Some teachers went a step further and even had a video chat through Zoom with their kids so the kids were able to actually talk to their classmates too.
“My teaching partner and I have set it up to where we are going to chat with our kids once a week,” Richeson said. “Doing all of this, we don’t want there to be any stress on our parents as we know that they have jobs and other kids as well.
“Parents have already complimented us that the plans were easy to read and understand and their child was able to complete it on their own. These lesson plans are parent friendly, and I think they really appreciate being given something concrete instead of finding things on their own.”
GISD Superintendent Jeremy Glenn is optimistic about the new way of teaching and learning.
“I think in Granbury we’ve been ahead of the curve,” he said. “We’re trying to ramp up and encourage our staff to push out as much as they can so parents can have resources.”
Cars have lined up outside schools where parents receive new Chromebooks (computer laptops) for their children.
“Friday we handed out 1,800 Chromebooks, and we anticipate we’ll hand out close to 1,000 more today,” Glenn said Monday.
“This is our new normal,” Richeson said, “with the help of our technology department making sure we have as many technology resources possible, to curriculum who is making sure we are reviewing the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) our kids need to know, to our principals making sure all their students have the technology they need to complete their online learning, to all the teachers who have created and are delivering lessons for our students each week.
“We are blessed in our district to have such good leaders and procedures in place to accommodate the needs of our students. We are making calls to parents each week, most of the time more than once. We want our children to know that nothing is going to stand in the way of ‘virtually’ loving on them while trying to get back into the groove of what is familiar to them.”
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