Going the Distance
Moore Public Schools continues education through distance learning
April 19, 2020
At the start of 2020, no one expected that they would meet with their teachers via video chat. No one expected that summer would start two months early. And not one person knew that society would be quarantined in their homes due to a global pandemic. Unfortunately, this is the new norm. Everyone miss the outside world, but how can people reach it from home? More importantly, how can students reach education? The answer:
It is becoming a bigger part of students’ lives than ever due to COVID-19 resulting in school closures. Moore Public Schools (MPS) executes distance learning via Zoom, a video chatting service, and Canvas, a classroom-esque website where assignments can be created and completed.
Unfortunately, not every student has access to online learning due to varying technology capabilities. However, MPS Assistant Superintendent David Peak and his team have taken this into consideration.
“About one to two percent of the student population required us to collect laptops or hotspots for their use, and roughly nine to ten percent required us to create 80-page paper-and-pencil learning packets as an option,” Peak said. “These packets were hand delivered by principals to each student, which turned out to be about 300.”
Students, teachers, and parents are reacting very positively to our district’s new way of learning, since the goal is to maintain knowledge from previously taught concepts. This goal caters to the fact that students are losing a critical piece in achieving proper learning: not having a teacher at their disposal.
“There is no way to emulate a good classroom teacher, because dialogue is the key to learning. Students need to be able to ask questions, have the opportunity to discuss key issues, and be engaged by a teacher’s enthusiasm,” Peak said.
“I like that if you don’t understand something, you can ask your teacher or just quit the assignment. My parents also like it a lot, but they wish I could still be in the classroom,” freshman Brady Marlar said.
“I think the connection of distance learning is a gift to all of us. We are still able to have others checking in even when we can’t be there,” Westmoore science teacher Christen Rowland said.
Although a solution to the absence of education has been achieved, students, particularly seniors, are still giving up a big part of their high school experience.
“I am heartbroken for seniors. You work for 12 years and have hopes that the last semester of your senior year is going to be this stellar opportunity– there’s prom, senior banquet, senior breakfast, and graduation exercises,” Peak said.
Unfortunately, they won’t be able to experience this.
In the end, our school is looking at the bigger picture in accompaniment to education: the community as a whole.
“If you don’t have challenges, you just don’t ever grow,” Peak said.
Do you have COVID-19 concerns related to Moore Public Schools? Email [email protected]
Mr. Peak’s Letter – Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Distance Learning Plan – Secondary Education, Letter to Parents (pdf)
Elementary Distance Learning Plan – Tuesday, March 31, 2020: Distance Learning Plan – Elementary Education, Letter to Parents (pdf)
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