Peoria Public Schools puts more than 8,000 devices in the hands of its students to equip them for Distance Learning and 21st Century skills
Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 9/10/2020 11:00:00 AM
With nearly three weeks of Distance Learning complete, Peoria Public Schools staff, students and families are becoming comfortable with this method of learning.
Peoria Public Schools staff have distributed over 8,000 Streams to students and continue to tweak the technology to give teachers and students flexibility and maintain differentiated instruction. For example, teachers can address their classes as a whole group, set up private channels within MSTeams to work with small groups of students or schedule one-on-one meetings with students who require individualized instruction. In a school district that serves a student population that is more than 70% low income, the access to a personal laptop and the ability to hone those 21st Century computer skills will be valuable experiences for Peoria Public Schools students.
During device pickup at schools and during home visits, school staff work one-on-one with parents, grandparents and other caregivers so they know how they and their students should log onto MS Teams, how to check student’s progress and grades, and how to best communicate with teachers and counselors. Last week, Glen Oak principal Ilethea Suggs and Glen Oak assistant principal Matthew Durr, four Elite staff members and Student Resource Officer Brown visited more than 100 student homes to assist them with technical issues and encourage them to help their student log on for each class.
Just as a typical school year, attendance is crucial. Our attendance goal is 95 percent – Every Student, Every Class, Every Day. Students are required to check in to each class every day to be marked present. When students check in, our teachers and support staff have the opportunity to observe students social, emotional wellness and address any concerns.
Michelle Obama said, “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
There is no doubt that Distance Learning presents challenges to educators, students, parents and caregivers. However, I feel certain that when we meet these challenges head on, we will all become more dedicated lifelong learners.