We are asking rural communities to share how COVID-19 is impacting them. Read below for a perspective about how Bertrand, NE was ready for the transition submitted by Superintendent Dennis Shipp. You can share yours here: http://bit.ly/iaartcovid
It has been very, very busy from even the week or two before shut down. Talk about mental health.
At Bertrand I had the teachers preparing e-learning protocol a week plus before the shut down of school. I will tell you that using digital zoom classroom settings, seesaw in the elementary, and various other communication methods isn't as easy as you think. Basically, we are asking our students to meet 2-3 times per week, do work the other days, and check in with their teachers during an "office hour" that my principal scheduled to ensure all students have access to teachers...but we all know that the kids want help all the time. Anyway, we are providing good electronic education at a time when preparing for each class period takes an abundance of time. Pretty good stuff.
I don't think this is why almost all of our teachers and staff actually went to college, and training for this type of situation is non-existent. However, 5-7 years ago we took the plunge into 1:1 devices and also hired a tech integrationist to help the staff use the devices appropriately educationally. I guess we stumbled into that successful endeavor!
This is a bit like 5th and 6th grade flag football on Saturday afternoons in the backyard. We are making up the rules as we go and drawing up plays as we go...luckily the NDE isn't calling fouls yet!
A Bertrand freshman took the time to post about some of his time away from school.