Superintendent says remote learning off to a good start

Superintendent says remote learning off to a good start

PAWTUCKET – Monday was orientation day for the district’s fledgling remote learning efforts, and Supt. Cheryl McWilliams said teachers, parents and students were all doing their part to make this new reality a success.

Staff were keeping routines as closely as possible, she said, starting classes at normal times and doing the regular Pledge of Allegiance.

“It’s going to take a few days to get adjusted,” she said, adding that she wants parents, students and teachers to be comfortable with the process for how education will work during the new coronavirus pandemic. Adjustments should be made right away if they’re not comfortable, she said.

Most teachers were feeling comfortable with the technology they need to continue to instruct students, said McWilliams, and the district has a tech support line available for everyone to utilize.

Messages had already started coming in an hour after classes began Monday, with a teacher concerned that they couldn’t get Google Hangouts to work properly 20 minutes before class was to start. Teachers and students will become more comfortable with time, she said.

Most of Pawtucket’s curriculum is already within Google Classroom, making it a simple adjustment to move everything else in, said McWilliams.

The American Reading Company pushed out its e-library, she said, and all students also received packets on their new digital classrooms.

Though educating won’t be the same as actual classroom time, she said, staff and families will be doing their best to make the most of it. Educators are also encouraging families to do a lot of independent reading time with actual physical books, she said, knowing that goes a long way toward improved literacy.