RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Triangle schools don’t have a reason to be overly concerned about coronavirus, but are still taking precautions to minimize the risk and so they’re prepared.
At St. Timothy’s School in Raleigh, students in Mrs. Hansen’s first-grade class are taking periodic breaks to wash their hands.
“Making sure we have deep cleaning companies ready to go on demand if we need that, or even what are the guidelines today from the health department or from the CDC. So that’s a whole other area of planning, and then there’s a communication side of things,” said Head of School Tim Tinnesz.
Communication includes daily emails to parents as administrators figure out how to teach remotely if that becomes necessary.
“Also, community is so important, and it’s easy to come together physically to be present for a community. But, how do we maintain a close-knit and thriving community even if we can’t come together on one campus? So what does that look like? And that’s an area we continue to be thinking and planning,” Tinnesz said.
“How can we make sure that meaningful teaching and learning continue for all of our students? For some of our older middle school students, that may look one way. For a kindergartener or first grader that may look very different.”
Older students, like Mrs. Little’s eighth-grade math class, will rely heavily on their Chromebooks. Tinnesz said it’s all about finding that balance that’s unique to each grade.
“How much is appropriate screen time versus how many things should be done rightfully without any screens anywhere near them? What kind of hands-on activities are being planned on? It’s also about synchronous or asynchronous,” Tinnesz said. “These are vocabulary terms that not a lot of educators were very familiar with even a month ago. This idea of what amount of interactions needs to happen live and on-demand, and what amount of things can be paced as you go.”
And, with no knowns, that also means planning for short term and long term — all with the hope that no term outside the classroom will be necessary.
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