Educating students during COVID-19 pandemic
We’ve all learned something in the midst of the COVID-19 threat including students, parents, and educators throughout our South Mississippi school systems who faced the challenge of adapting to making sure our young people properly finished the school year.
COVID-19 is an unforeseeable and far-reaching threat that spread with little notice during early 2020, forcing classrooms throughout the nation to shut down and educators to come up with a way to help their students round out the school year from home.
When COVID hit, some of the nation’s school districts had already incorporated online learning tools and programs such as i-Ready into their curriculum. The Pass Christian School District was one of them, making the transition to distance learning easier for students like Eden Warren and her mother Leah. “I feel like she’s really learned a lot even though everything has been really done at home the past couple of months. It’s been a great experience.”
There were and have been a number of challenges when it comes to distance learning, including just how to make sure every student in the district has online access. Pass Christian School District Superintendent Dr. Carla Evers said, “When we started, one of the very first thought processes we went through is can we serve all of our students equitably? One of the first things we had to do was have our meetings to make sure we can properly serve our students with special needs. Then students who did not have internet access we were able to provide with support from our community. We had several community members make donations to us. With their support, we were able to provide 100 hot spots in the homes with no charge to our parents.”
Now on to a new chapter as Pass Christian’s summer school has been moved up now set to launch in June to keep students from losing learning momentum. Meanwhile, school districts leaders say they continue to pick up a few lessons of their own. “It’s really making us think differently about everything, from the way that we deliver instruction to the way we support our students and teachers. It’s making us rethink things like how are we going to re-enter the school year for the upcoming year.”