WCHS Science Teacher Kelly Brown shares her organized webpage that will be easy for students to follow from home.
WCMS 7th grade Math Teacher Braxton Shearer shows the board one of his virtual lessons
Monticello Elementary 4th grade Teacher Leslye Rice shares an Edpuzzle program
The youngest children in the district benefit from virtual learning in Nicki Prince's preschool classroom and all the other color groups at Walker Early Learning Center.
Students benefit from ramped up efforts to present virtual lessons online
The Wayne County Board of Education members were impressed with a sample of the virtual learning that is being kicked off for the new school year which began August 24.The board met August 20th, which was also opening day for the staff and heard updates from Superintendent Wayne Roberts and Chief Academic Officer Brian Dishman regarding the training that has been occurring at schools throughout the district. Teachers have been focused on how to teach online, while also preparing for safety protocol when students arrive in the classrooms, under the various options the board previously approved.
Teachers from elementary school, middle school and high school shared some of the virtual lessons that their students have started participating in at the start of school. Teachers have been pleased by the participation they are seeing from students the first few days of classes. At this point, Roberts said that the district will continue virtual instruction, with plans to implement in-person instruction September 28–a date that has been recommended by Governor Andy Beshear.
While Roberts noted that no instruction is better than in-person instruction, but he is proud of the strides that teachers in the district have made as they prepare for the new school year.
“Back in March, we had a lot of teachers using advanced technology. We were much further ahead in the quality of our teaching than other districts,” said Roberts. With enhanced training over the summer, “We will see very good instruction in this district” this school year.
“Our virtual capabilities provide students with a more inviting environment than a paper packet,” noted Dishman. “We’re committed to providing high quality virtual learning experiences for students at home that are engaging and interactive with a focus on outcomes and the standards that are important at each level. The virtual content will be presented in a well-organized manner so it is clear what students need to do.”
Wayne County High School Science Teacher Kelly Brown shared her class website which is extremely inviting, well organized and detailed with weekly assignments for each of the different classes she teaches, along with links providing valuable resources. Wayne County Middle School Seventh Grade Math Teacher Braxton Shearer shared how teachers are focused on outcome based learning where the concern is what the student knows at the end of the lesson, not necessarily the time spent listening. He is providing his students with an exit ticket daily to see what skills they have mastered and if they need additional support where he can follow up with a zoom meeting or one on one instruction. Monticello Elementary Fourth Grade Teacher Leslye Rice shared a typical virtual classroom from the elementary level. Monticello Elementary teachers are using interactive programs like Edpuzzle where they upload a video they have created and embedded questions. In addition, they are using Flipgrid which allows them to create a video, share prompts with students and receive students’ responses.
Board members did have some questions regarding students who may not have the internet or available technology to participate in virtual learning. School officials indicated that several steps have been taken to help with these problems. Students in grades three through 12 each have Chromebooks provided by the district. More Chromebooks have been ordered since May, however they are back ordered, since they are in such demand across the country. Those who do not have internet access at home can come to campus and download the full week’s worth of instruction, which can be completed later even if they are offline. Internet companies like Community Telecom Services and Windstream are offering special student packages for about
$15 a month, which will allow families to sign up for affordable internet. And there are also plans to use the city’s water tank sites to expand wireless internet to more remote areas of the county.
Also during the meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing COVID-19 related emergency leave for employees during the 2020-21 school year. The resolution includes provisions for an employee to be paid for a 10 day period in a COVID-19 leave situation. Roberts indicated that the board may look at increasing the number of days provided as the school year progresses.