Educators across Kentucky, and the nation, are facing the challenge of keeping students engaged during virtual learning.
The Bowling Green Independent School District has staff members who reach out to make sure students stay connected during the pandemic.
“We have a lot of adults who are going out in the community every day, knocking on doors, tracking down students and families and trying to figure out where they’re living and why they’re not participating in virtual learning,” said Gary Fields, superintendent of the Bowling Green School District.
The team that goes into the community includes administrators, staff from the family resource centers, a social worker, and school mental health counselors.
There are many reasons students can slip away from virtual learning in this time when COVID-19 presents so many unusual challenges. It could be illness, no internet access, lack of adult supervision, language barriers, a shortage of food, or a decision by the family to move.
“You can make phone calls, you can send emails, you can do all those things. But for some of our families the only way to figure out what’s really going on is to get in our cars, to drive to the house, and try to help them in any way we can," said Fields. "So it is really a boots-on-the-ground kind of operation.”
The district can assist by providing families with information and some direct services, including school nurses, food distributions at the schools, an internet hot spot, and academic assistance so students can keep up with their schoolwork.