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Shelby Brennan | Johnson Publications

Even for younger students in the Wauneta-Palisade Schools District, including Dawn Gill’s first grade class participating in a morning zoom meeting, this is what school looks like now.

Online school working well for W-P students, staff

In the Wauneta-Palisade Schools District, at least, remote schooling due to the coronavirus pandemic appears to be working.
    “I’m proud of how well the kids have done and the parents have done in getting this done,” Principal Joseph Frecks said. “It’s been extremely difficult,”
    Frecks said teachers have worked hard to adapt to what is, for now, the new normal of education.
    For grades K-5, where kids spend all day with the same teacher or group of teachers, there’s been relatively little scheduling work to make Zoom meetings work.
    Elementary students are conducting enrichment activities to build on what they’ve already learned during the school year, Frecks said.
    “In K-5, most of the stuff, by the fourth quarter they’ve learned a lot,” he said. “It’s just advancing what they’ve learned in the classroom.”
    Elementary school kids aren’t really being graded on their work right now.
    Their final grade will be “basically where they were when school stopped,” he said. If they do particularly well, their grades may get at least a small bump, he said.
    A more restricted schedule has been mapped out for grades 6-12.
    On Mondays and Wednesday,s they work with the teacher online in half-hour sessions to cover a regular school day’s first four periods. Tuesdays and Thursdays include four more half-hour sessions covering fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth periods.
    Frecks acknowledged that means half the instructional time students would get if they were attending school, but “one positive is this time of year, in junior high and high school, it is extremely rare we have all the kids in the building anyway,” with students getting out of school for sports, music and FFA activities. “This time of year, teachers might have their entire class with them twice a week anyway. The kids have done an amazing job of getting their work done and interacting with teachers.”

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