OPS students start virtual learning

OPS students start virtual learning
Updated: Aug. 24, 2020 at 5:44 AM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Owensboro Public School students hit the books again Monday, but they are starting all virtual.

They’re following the guidance from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who recommended all schools across the Commonwealth start online until late next month.

The plan now is for kids to return to class in person on October 12, but the district will update parents on that plan on September 18.

Virtual Academy students, which is its own separate entity within Owensboro Schools start online classes, as well as the A/B model students.

A/B model students are the ones planning to come in person later in the year.

For those students, the schedule will be four days of learning: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays then will be a catch-up day or a day they can meet virtually with their teachers to go over the material.

They will not operate on the A/B model while learning online. School officials say this will be different than last year’s spring NTI.

That was more review work, but now students will be meeting virtually with their teachers and fellow classmates and learning new material.

They’ll be following a schedule throughout the day and meeting with the teachers they would have been if they were there in person.

Officials say all school buildings have WiFi that can be accessed from the parking lots, and they’ve also had community partners reach out and open their parking lots for WiFi.

The school district is also looking to dispatch several vehicles which would have WiFi access to different areas around town, but if those options still aren’t good for a family, they can reach out to the family resource coordinator for a hot spot.

For teachers, the new school year is taking some getting used to. Emily Brown has been teaching for 10 years. She says this year she feels like she's starting back at square one.

“It’s completely different I feel like I’m a first-year teacher again. Every new school year brings jitters but this year was a whole different kind of nerve,” said Brown.

Ms. Brown teaches kindergarten, she says she has some tricks up her sleeve to keep her students on task.

“We use brain breaks in the classroom, I have links to be able to use with them at home as well and they can’t sit for a long amount of time and we know that so we want to get them up and moving and keep learning fun just like it would be in the classroom,” said Brown.

Brown says whether her students come back into the classroom or not, she plans to provide them with all the educational support they need.

“I hope no matter what that we still lay the foundation for them to have a great school experience throughout. So that’s my hope is that I can get them what they need this year no matter how I have to do that,” said Brown.

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