[00:00:00] Jessica: I know a lot of school districts have used a numerous amount of tools to help meet the needs of their students and their staff. So were you guys, for example, on the zoom train that kind of took over the nation? What what other technologies or systems worked best as you guys went through this?
[00:00:28]As I know, a lot of different school districts may have started with one path realized there were some things that weren’t quite working as well as they needed to and had to work to find other solutions. As you guys identified problems, what did that process look like once you decided, this is what’s really working, we’re going to stick with it or we need something a little bit different.
[00:00:50]Let’s get together as a team again and try to figure out what we need.
[00:00:54]Christine: For live instruction we use primarily zoom and Google classroom [00:01:00] Google meets, right? And so then for our 6 through 12 students, or 5 through 12 students, we already had an information platform that they would work with on their team with their teachers.
[00:01:10] We just had to beef up the use of that at the lower grade levels. So we we leveraged the software, the platform is called Canvas. And what we found though at the elementary level K through four here is while we used software to support instruction, we didn’t have a cohesive way to communicate with students around instruction across the district that was aligned.
[00:01:34] So over the course of this process, we wound up transitioning to Google Classroom K through 4 to help support instruction and to communicate with our kids around the classroom environment, around assessment and around expectations in terms of engaging in classes.
[00:01:52]Jessica: From that standpoint, it does sound like you guys had one system that was working pretty decent or your middle school and high school, but had to find some tweaks to the elementary that I hadn’t considered. When I was speaking with another school district was just how involved parents really are.
[00:02:12] I take for granted. I’ve got three different age levels at home here. One of them in middle school, the other two college at different levels, all doing online, different styles of virtual education themselves. And, some of them need more help than others based on the platforms, based on what they’re using, but just how much they do need parental involvement.
[00:02:37] When it comes to the elementary school, how reliant they are on needing someone to help them with that technology. But also the teachers being able to communicate well with parents, not just students, because parents are so integral with having to do virtual instruction.
[00:02:58] Christine: I agree with you. We we’re right now in we opened September very differently than when we closed in March.
[00:03:05] And I’m sure you’ll have me talk about that in a second, but what I can tell you is that when we did close in March, it wasn’t just supporting teachers with the instructional tools and the students, but we had to provide opportunities for parents to come and learn and grow alongside of us as we all became comfortable with the virtual environment that we now needed to operate within for the remainder of the school year.
[00:03:25] Cause we had to stay closed through June . So we had to help support the entire community because we needed their help and support as we continued to learn as our kids continued to learn. It was the idea of having a community school was just amplified tremendously, particularly at the elementary.
[00:03:46] And I’m going to say the middle school level as well. We definitely provided opportunities for parents to learn with us so that we could best support our kids together.
[00:03:59] Jessica: Yeah, I agree. I like what you said there about it being community school, because it really, that does tie to, I feel like what a lot of school districts have been going through and you mentioned having a really good community there because you, you need those things in order to have them be the best success, but everyone is trying to get through this together and have a good leader to help them through.