As the threat of the spread of the coronavirus grows, school districts in Cortland and neighboring counties have been preparing to go to remote teaching until at least the third week of April.
“Teachers have been getting ready for this” for the last few weeks, said McGraw Superintendent of Schools Melinda McCool. “It wasn’t really a surprise for anyone.”
Schools were originally planned to close to students today in Cortland County before Cortland County Administrator Rob Corpora declared a state of emergency for the county Sunday, leading all school districts, except McGraw Central School District, to close Tuesday.
Each district will have different plans for how students will do their work, though many revolve around using Google Classroom, where teachers can give students assignments to complete digitally.
At McGraw Central School District, students received plans and instructions in person Tuesday from their teachers on how to use Google Classroom from their teachers and instructions on how to use Google Classroom, McCool said. Younger students were sent home with workbooks and other books they may need and their parents will receive instructions. Students who were not present Tuesday will receive materials and instructions through the mail for work, she said.
Students who may need access to a tablet may be given a Google Chromebook from the district, though McCool said this would be on a case by case basis. Additionally, she said that the majority of students have some sort of device they can use at home to access Google Classroom from.
“For as new as something like this is, I think we are blessed for people around us who can keep their heads and make this happen,” she said.
McCool praised the teachers in her school for their flexibility to change their methods of teaching to fit the remote learning that will happen.
“They do it every day in their class in a different way,” she said.
Counseling services will remain for students who need it.
Similar protocols have been put in place at the Homer Central School District.
Parents of students in grades prekindergarten through second grade will receive emails from their child’s teachers letting them know what learning activities will take place each day and students in grades 3-12 will use Google Classroom to complete activities, said Ted Love, the director of instruction at the Homer Central School District.
All students in grades 3-12 took home Google Chromebook tablets Monday provided by the district to complete their work, he said.
Teachers have made plans for students without internet access, though it varies.
“It’s going to vary based on subject and grade level,” Love said.
Students may also be able to use Google Hangout to ask teachers questions in real time.
For students in grades 6-12, they are asked to check their school emails daily for messages from the teachers. They can also use their emails to ask the teachers questions, he said.
A Frequently Asked Questions page and a video on how learning from home will work have been posted on the district’s website to help explain the plans.
“It’s going to take everyone to support students learning in this time possible,” Love said.
A schedule will be published on the Cortland Enlarged City School District’s website regarding materials for students to pick up to complete work, according to the district’s website.
Superintendent Michael J. Hoose said Thursday that the district had a plan in place for remote learning, though details were still being worked on.
Hoose could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
For more details
To get more information from your school district, please visit the following websites: