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Area teachers taking on new challenges

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Technology allows teachers and students to have face-to-face time

HARTINGTON — The doors at Hartington-Newcastle and Cedar Catholic/Holy Trinity schools may be closed to students but the education process is still underway.

The schools, along with most others across the state, have shut down as part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus but teachers are still preparing lessons and interacting with students.

This has presented a challenge for teachers and students alike, said Hartington-Newcastle Elementary School Principal Sarah Edwards.

First through sixth grade students are making good use of the Chromebooks,  mini-laptops that were sent home with each student, according Edwards. 

Google Classroom and Canvas are platforms teachers are using to share information with the students. Teachers are creating instructional videos for students

“Our students had already been using computers. The teachers have been using some form of Google in the classrooms,” Edwards said. “Now the difference is everything is being done in a new way. We are being creative.”

Enrichment packages, which include articles, work sheets, suggestions for things to do, projects and reviews, are delivered to students’ homes each week. 

Art and P.E. are also being offered to students who are working out of their homes.

“The art teacher gave students a list of materials. The students were then told to create an airplane by using those materials,” Edwards said. “The P.E. teacher sent a list of ideas the students could use for activities.”

Teachers also use Zoom to have face-to-face time with individual students or class groups through video conferences. Teachers also communicate with the students over the phone.