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Lake Roosevelt starts online "distance learning" this week

“Distance learning” is getting its moment in the sun, starting this week, for Lake Roosevelt students and teachers.

With students and staff “social distancing” during the coronavirus pandemic, educators, told by the state they still have to teach, have had to figure out how to teach without actually being in the same room as their students.

“Sometimes good comes out of a difficult situation,” Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Paul Turner wrote in his April 16 email update to parents and the community. “Although social distance is frustrating and goes against our normalcy, a rebirth of education is occurring. ‘Distance Learning’ has taken off and is quickly becoming our new platform. … We need to have grace as this new medium is implemented. Teachers are fast tracking their

learning with the hope of helping their students and parents embrace it.”

Early on during the crisis, the district had been sending home packets of lessons for students, concerned with maintaining equity among students with and without technological access at home. But when Gov. Jay Inslee ordered that in-person teaching was out for the remainder of the school year, the state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction pushed online learning.

Kirk Marshlain, the principal for LR’s junior/senior high school, posted a slideshow on YouTube outlining how distance learning works.

The slideshow says that the majority of distance learning will use technology, but that distance learning will look different for those students without access to technology, sometimes with paper-and-pencil versions of assignments.

Google platforms are being used, including Google Drive, used to store, share, and create files; Google Meet, “for use with teacher office hours,” the slideshow says; and Google Classroom, where teachers will post weekly assignments for their students.

Google Chromebooks are being prepared for potential checkout from students starting later this week, an April 20 update from Turner said.

Students will be able to work on assignments at a time of their choosing.

“The standard ‘period’ or time frame no longer applies in this new paradigm as we are not bound by time and space,” the slideshow explains.

The goal for the junior/senior high school side is three hours of focused learning per day, according to the slideshow, with Mondays and Tuesdays focusing on English language arts and science, Wednesdays and Thursdays focusing on math and social studies, and Fridays focusing on electives and physical education, such as going for a walk.

The goal for elementary students is two hours of focused learning per day, seperated into one subject per day.

Turner also spoke about distance learning at the April 13 school board meeting held via Zoom, saying that students being able to connect with one another and with their teachers was important for their social well being, as well as for the educational aspect of it.


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