What schools and teachers are doing now

Friday, March 27, 2020

It is now a standard worldwide, due to COVID-19, to educate students using unconventional methods, and the Alta-Aurelia School District is no exception.

William Walters, Superintendent of Alta-Aurelia Schools, said the overall goal is to keep our students and families connected to school. Teachers are providing learning opportunities to students as much as they can. “Pre-k to 4th grade we are providing learning packets and learning ideas via social media. 5th to 12th grade are working online posting short video lessons and activities on our Google classroom,“ Walters said.

Teachers are also making personal contact with students to check in and see how things are going. The kitchen staff and several volunteers are preparing free meals and food for students.

“Our students and staff have worked extremely hard for three quarters and we want to do everything we can to sustain that learning as much as possible. Schools are so much more than buildings. It’s about the people in them and I am thankful for our staff and students at A-A,” Walters said.

Tom Ryherd, Principal at Alta-Aurelia High School, said the staff is more focused on staying connected rather than content. “They are providing a couple activities/enrichment opportunities a week to help the kids stay connected to school. More so, they are using that as a method to stay connected to the kids,” he said.

“Our hope is that through these opportunities we will help give kids some sort of normalcy and connection during this interesting time. We just want to let the kids know that we are here for them and keep those lines of communication open,” Ryherd said, adding that some teachers are being very creative with different videos and activities and are providing a little humor during all this uncertainty.

Stacy Mueller, Principal at Alta Elementary School, said they are doing postcards, phone calls, letters, delivering homework and meals to students, and video messages.

“I am also doing a daily challenge for the kids on Facebook and YouTube!” She appreciates that free meals are being prepared for students available for pickup and delivery every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Jeannie Henningsen, Principal at Aurelia TK-8, said teachers have been using a variety of methods to offer educational opportunities to the students. These include Google classroom, Google hangout, Facebook, along with email to check in with students. “Elementary teachers sent home learning activities and reading activities to help keep students engaged,” she said.