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Back to Learning: Grand Ledge Public Schools gives inside look at virtual learning experience

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 4:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Just a little over a week away from the start of the virtual school year, Grand Ledge Public Schools shared what a typical day would look like for students.

During the school day, teachers will actively work with students doing live lessons, recorded learning activities, communicating with students, providing feedback and support.

Their goal is to provide students with everything but the school building, and mimic the traditional experience as much as possible.

“Everyday you walk into the school building, you walk into a classroom in that school building, and the teachers provide good instruction. So, it’s that same concept in a virtual world,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bill Barnes.

All teachers and students will log on to a program called “Buzz” each day just as they would walk into the doors of their school buildings.

On Buzz, they’ll find their classes or subjects, schoolwide announcements, and daily tasks.

“We needed to create a landing space for parents and students to go everyday,” said Barnes.

There is about 30-60 minutes of live learning each day. Teachers will share how to watch recorded versions of the lesson for families who need it.

While there are structured hours for each grade level, the district understands that the times may not work for everyone’s schedule. Students can do their recorded learning activities at any time that works for them. Attendance is based on completion of assignments.

Katie Grass is a first grade teacher. She’s already started putting the final touches on her virtual classroom, which includes an avatar of herself and a class pet.

“We’re trying to make it a little bit the same, but know it’ll look different. So, trying not to make it too tough on the parents,” said Grass.

Her hope is that parents will only have to assist their child with the initial process of logging on for lessons.

“We’re going to do new things, different things, but I think it will still be fun in a typical first grade way,” said Grass.

The district also shared suggested learning times based on grade level.

Parents will have the opportunity to learn more about their virtual learning and ask direct questions next week during the district’s three informational webinars.

The dates are: September 3 at 7 p.m., September 4 at 9 a.m., and September 4 at 2 p.m.

If parents can’t attend live to answer questions, they can submit questions ahead of time by filling out the form here.

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