With all schools in Kentucky shut down during the pandemic, one elementary school in Owensboro is a good example of how educators are developingnew procedures to get lessons to students.
All of the 560 students at Newton Parrish Elementary get 10 days of printed lessons at a time. That’s to make sure even students who don’t have internet at home can keep up with their schoolwork.
Principal Steve Bratcher said after teachers prepare their lessons, instructional assistants copy them and place them in each classroom.
“And at that point, the teachers come back to school and put the first and last name on baggies, we bought Ziplock baggies, two-gallon baggies, and the teachers place those in the conference room, once they have everything bagged up, ready to go,” said Bratcher.
Then the packets of lessons are placed on a cart by grade level and parents drive by Friday, Monday or Tuesday, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., to pick them up from staff members practicing social distancing and other safety measures.
Parents also drop off their children’s work from the previous 10 days. Bratcher said there is extensive care taken to make sure there's no spread of the coronavirus.
"When they bring the packets back, we put them in a box that has the teacher’s name on it, and after five days, we then set that box into their classroom and then they come and go through the work and check it,” said Bratcher.
Bratcher and the assistant principal, the guidance counselor and family resource center director have gone out to drop the packets off at the homes of students who haven’t had their lessons picked up at school.
Teachers also email or call students to check in with them and see if they need any assistance with their school work. Bratcher said nearly all students or parents have responded to emails or phone calls.
To encourage participation in keeping up with school work while students are at home, every family that dropped of a packet of lessons last Friday got a free pizza. The school gave out 330 pizzas in two hours.