School board gets update on continuous learning

Glenda LaBarbera, USD 457 assistant superintendent, gave an update to the Board of Education on the continuous learning plan at the board’s Monday meeting.

LaBarbera said they’ve been getting feedback from the parents, finding that the weekly check-ins have been the most helpful in understanding how the students and families are doing during this time.

“What we're getting is it is hard, children are missing the teachers, teachers are missing the children,” she said. “It's hard to get children to do the school work. Internet is not always consistent, sometimes its slow so it's frustrating.”

About 10% of families with students in the district don’t have internet access, LaBarbera said. They are still working on getting access to all students.

Additionally, some students don’t want to get out of bed for morning classes when it’s on the computer, and if students are in childcare or with relatives they oftentimes forget to bring some school materials, LaBarbera said.

LaBarbera said they’ve heard from parents that they enjoy sitting through the Zoom meetings and watching their child learn.

Parents have been appreciative of the communication with teachers and teachers have been enjoying building relationships with the families, LaBarbera said.

“That weekly check-in is something that (teachers) absolutely want to continue next year,” she said.

Parents have also been appreciative of teachers creating tools for them in understanding some of their child’s assignments, LaBarbera said.

“One of the things that the parents have said they really like is the school is doing videos for parents on how to do the math or how to do the science assignment or the science experiment,” she said. “That will also be something with the technology that our teachers will want to keep. They said even if we go back to all the students coming into the classroom, they still want to do those how-to videos for parents.”

Some children are doing very well with the change to online school, LaBarbera said.

“We’re finding that some of the children are blossoming with this,” she said. “There are no distractions, they enjoy the technology and it gives them more family time.”