PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With distance learning the new normal for Bay district teachers and students, official class time begins Monday.
The district says virtual learning may take some getting used to for some, but each school has a universal platform they are using.
After a list was provided by the district of recommended online platforms on which to teach, each school chose the best fitting one for their educators and students.
Hiland Park Elementary is using a website that they’ve been using in the classroom all year.
“We decided to use classroom dojo as a platform to push out what we were doing. And we are utilizing launch pad for all of the online access for parents. Sources are familiar with the launch pad because they use it every day in school. And our parents can communicate with our staff through dojo so we have just married those two things together,” said Principal of Hiland Park Elementary, Ilea Faircloth.
Many classrooms have also set up ways to make face to face contact between students and their teachers.
“When we do our video chats we’re using zoom, so that way we can post when the meetings use zoom and we can see their faces,” said Hiland Park 4th Grade Teacher, Adrianna Swearinge.
Other teachers in the district are using software that allows them to see students progress.
“It allows me to see how many times they’ve logged in, how long they’ve spent in the system, what progress they’re making on the assignments, the reading software that I’ve been using actually monitors the number of minutes they’ve spent reading versus answering questions,” said President of ABCE, Alexis Underwood.
Right now schools are using this first week for everyone to get adjusted.
“For attendance, it’s a matter of if we see that those things are being completed, but we’re really not putting a focus on grades at the moment. We really want to have a lot of grace and flexibility and understand that this situation is not normal,” said Swearinge.
Hiland Park Elementary has a specific material pick up spot for students using paper-based lessons.
“Those are going to be in a file cabinet in the back of the school where our parents can pick up every Tuesday their learning packet for the week and then deliver it back in the return door that says portfolio return,” said Faircloth.
The district wants to remind parents that these lessons can be done at any point during the day and that this does not need to be a 7 am to 2 pm day for these students.