The African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," is definitely at the forefront of educating the children of our community during this health crisis.
The New Albany-Plain Local School District recognizes that a child's education is a responsibility shared by parents, families, schools and the community. Creating positive home, school and community partnerships is essential to carrying out the shared responsibility necessary to meet the academic and developmental needs of our students. This pandemic reinforces the partnerships and flexibility that are required to permit students to access age appropriate remote learning opportunities at home with unprecedented levels of parent/guardian support, for which we are truly grateful.
The success of remote learning for our youngest learners is made possible with the efforts of parents and caregivers working in partnership with our teachers. Due to the dependence of preschool and kindergarten students on the adults in their lives, access to our district's learning-management system, Schoology, is provided directly to parents to obtain learning resources for their children. Each school day, a daily presentation is provided by Early Learning Center teachers. It includes reading, writing and math lessons, along with enrichment lessons from our specialists.
At the primary school for grades 1 to 3, parents are supporting their children as they become accustomed to using Schoology to access learning materials. Lessons and online resources have an emphasis on literacy and math, with learning opportunities for science, social studies, art, music and physical fitness, too.
With the growing independence of students at the intermediate school in grades 4 to 6, core academic support is provided through the district supplied Apple iPads as part of the one-to-one initiative implemented last school year. Through the use of Schoology, teachers are engaging with their students through uploaded lessons, learning activities, videos and online resources in each content area. Teachers interact and provide feedback to students through means such as email, Schoology discussions and videoconferencing.
Middle and high school teachers continue to develop valuable and meaningful online learning experiences for our students while recognizing that remote learning environments also create new challenges for students and families. Patience, flexibility and open lines of communication continue to prove essential. While we are unable to replicate the daily classroom environment, we are proud our students and teachers have embraced the online challenge.
Our middle and high school teachers have adapted essential curriculum standards to permit students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do. Through the use of Schoology, teachers engage with their students and provide standards-based learning experiences via uploaded lessons, learning activities, videos and online resources in each content area. Teachers interact and provide feedback to students through email, Google Meet, Schoology discussions, online office hours, interactive learning experiences and audio and videoconferencing.
For students in grades 7 to 9, core academic support is provided through the district provided Apple iPads as part of the one-to-one initiative implemented last school year. Students in grades 10 to 12 use their own devices or Chromebooks provided by the district to access online learning. Students have responded well to the online learning requirements; 99% of middle school students and 96% of high school students are actively engaged in Schoology daily.
This unprecedented health crisis creates daily challenges for our entire community. Through kindness, patience, communication, flexibility and support we endeavor to maintain a healthy balance of high academic expectations and student/family well-being. We are committed to ensuring students will be able to complete the required coursework to progress forward in each subject area and grade level, including our graduating seniors. As always, should you have any questions or require assistance or support, please contact our school district.
"It takes a village to raise a child," and fortunately, for our school district, we have an incredible community to help our schools do so every day.
Michael Sawyers is the superintendent of the New Albany-Plain Local School District.