Distance learning starts Monday, March 30.
I wanted to give you a quick update on where we are at with our distance learning planning as we are a week from launching distance learning as a district. We are planning on launching this distance learning program on March 30, 2020.
Internet and Devices
Two issues common issues that face distance education are access to internet and access to devices. We are working to ensure that these issues do not hinder our students from quality distance education.
Internet: As we prepare for the delivery of distance learning starting March 30th, I wanted to let you know that the following internet providers are providing free internet families (some income guidelines may apply) that do not currently have internet for students during the time when schools are shutdown for distance education. Currently Arvig 1-888-992-7844, Garden Valley 1-800-448-8260, Halstad 1-218-456-2196, as well as Midco 1-833-338-4638 using code MIBEDU20. The intention is to make sure that access is not an issue for our students.
Devices: The school is preparing to offer devices to parents of students as we work to provide distance education for your students if needed. Starting on Wednesday, March 25th through March 27th, all three schools will be providing these devices to parents (details will be sent out from each school). We will need you to sign a form promising to take care of the devices and return them to the school at the conclusion of the distance education. In addition we also are asking that you ensure that the district acceptable use policy is followed meaning that these devices are to be used for educational purposes.
I want to be very clear with our parents that the teachers are still responsible for your child's education. We know that as a school district it is our job to provide a high quality education for your child. We very much appreciate your partnership in this time and want to assure you that our teachers have been preparing for distance education and we are ready to deliver this to your kids. I do not want parents to feel the burden of delivering instruction as our professional educators are prepared to do this. We would ask that you stay in communication with us as we know some parts of our distance education plan will need to be tweeked as we move forward on this important venture.
We will be posting our distance education plan on our website starting on March 27th. Teachers will be in communication with you and we will attempt to start slow and realize that this is new for your kids and our teachers. We will also work to make sure that the delivery of instruction is manageable for all parties.
What if I need additional help? We will be offering a homework helpline to assist your students in addition to the teacher contacts.
I would ask that during this time, all parents consider talking to students about social distancing. I know this is extremely hard for your kids, however, this is something that we should be thinking about. Encourage your students to connect with friends via electronic methods such as Google Hangouts (this is free) or other methods. Kids need a social outlet, however, we need to consider how we can keep not only our kids safe but also our community safe. Please talk to your kids about social distancing and help them find means to be social with alternatives to large face to face gatherings.
We are still providing meals for students each day either in a grab and go format or if transportation is a problem through delivery. If you do not know about this please call Highland School at 218-281-5600.
We are all in this together. Thank you for your continued partnership during this difficult time!