O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Education Happens Outside the Classroom

 

Teachers and students from South O'Brien Elementary are keeping in touch. Principal Mike Morran shared that 100% communication between TK-4th grade teachers with parents and students is occurring. Teacher websites, activity packets being sent home, email, telephone and the use of "ZOOM" are all being employed to keep students advancing through their current year's learning goals. Most of the emphasis is put on reading and math.

One teacher used "ZOOM" to read a book to the students who could gather online with her. As the students began to talk amongst themselves, the reading took second place to the socialization the classmates sought. But the time also provided an opportunity to ask and answer questions about the story getting into comprehension.

"Parents have been great," Morran continued! Parents have been personally active. Evening meetings with teachers are taking place, whatever works. "Evenings usually work best for working parents." Assignments, not required, but strongly encouraged, are typically provided on Monday with a goal of Friday completion. Morran says there is no sense of overload at this point.

A very few households do not have internet. In these cases, the packets or worksheets can be delivered. "I had one parent tell me 'We just 'bit the bullet' and got interent," Morran recounted. He also reminded us that each student in grades 2 – 12 is supplied with a laptop. The recommendation is to read at minimum of 20 minutes each day.

An upcoming staff meeting will give administration a double-check that outreach to all students has been made.

Parents are asked to contact the teachers with any questions.

Social media has been used and even art projects and PE activities are out for students to do to fill some of their time.

Lesson plans are done a week in advance and teachers are figuring out the best way to reach each student.

Meals are prepared by volunteers at Sutherland Church of Christ. About 100 bag lunches each day are distributed throughout the district. Pickup locations are at Sutherland Church of Christ, Calumet Fire Station, United Church of Primghar and First Presbyterian Church in Paullina. Food boxes were sent home for the weekend.

During these first 2 weeks the elementary building has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. At present school is scheduled to go back into in-person session beginning April 13. Governor Kim Reynolds is evaluating that date on a regular basis and will address that restart date "later this week."

 

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