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Reentry Plan News

Posted: October 12, 2020

Teaching and Learning During COVID

An overview of the first weeks of school

Librarian Tracy Nichols and students at John Baker ES

Librarian Tracy Nichols and students at John Baker ES

Associate Superintendent Dr. Antonio Gonzales first presented this overview to the Board of Education on Oct. 7

Clearly, these first weeks have been different, unconventional, and have presented several challenges. What has been the same is the commitment of our APS principals, teachers, and staff. Simply put, they have taken every challenge head-on, brainstormed out-of-box solutions, and to the best of their ability, are working to serve our students, families, and communities.

We know there is no substitution for face-to-face instruction. With that said, our teachers used the first few weeks of the school year to conduct virtual home visits, laying a foundation to establish school-to-home connections like:

  • How to be in contact with the teacher(s),
  • How to understand the virtual schedule
  • Where to go if they experience technological issues

to name a few.

After that, the virtual bell rang, and school began – school is still happening. Lessons are being taught, library books are being checked out, art projects are being constructed, and cosmetology labs are even being conducted from afar.

It is not at all unusual for an elementary school to host instructional material grab-and-gos where school supplies and packets are assembled by the teachers for students to use.

Middle schools are spending a great deal of time to ensure their advisory periods are tending to the social/emotional needs of our students.

Our high schools have begun welcoming small groups of students back onto campus based on the NMAA guidance for athletics and activities.

Our schools have stepped up their game when it comes to their online presence. School websites are being updated, daily announcements are being uploaded onto social media, and other innovative steps are being taken to communicate effectively.

As the first grading period arrived, our principals and school leaders are busy evaluating student success and achievement. Questions like, how can we improve, adjust, and learn from what is and isn’t working are being asked. A huge shout out and thank you should be sent out to our teachers who have owned their planning and professional development in ways nobody could have even thought of just a few months ago.

Schools are pivoting on the spot and focusing on attendance, grades, and social emotional learning amongst other areas as we conduct ongoing continuous improvement cycles on. Schools are doing their very best to work in real-time. This can be a challenge, however, as one who is able to see it daily, it is nothing short of inspiring.