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Teachers, Students Back Together for Distance Learning

Otsego launched its Continuity of Learning Plan Monday, which kicked off six weeks of learning. Students are learning either through online instruction or learning packets. 


While the actual school day is structured to be much shorter, our staff are creating as much normalcy as possible in their connections with kids. Even at a distance, they are sending videos to the kids so they can see each other, scheduling office hours for kids who need help or have questions, and exploring new tools for kids to also create videos to stay connected. They are taking part in the usual celebrations, like Earth Day projects, singing happy birthday to their classmates and sharing “good things”. Sharing good things is an activity that takes place across the district for Capturing Kids Hearts. The priority for distance learning at OPS is the social-emotional well-being of our students. We want to keep them engaged in learning, connected to their teacher and classroom and know they are loved. 


For OMS ELA teacher, Liz Lincoln, one of the best moments was receiving a picture from a student holding a cup of coffee. He would always bring his coffee in her first hour, especially on delayed starts, “So we’d enjoy our coffee together and chat,” she says. “It put a big smile on my face.” 


Pajama day was just as fun for Ms. Metz’s first graders. It just happened over Zoom instead of in the classroom.  


For high school math teacher, Josh Modert, he was able to give students a real world math problem as he’s re-grouting his shower. He walked them through the measurements and asked them to come up with the perimeter so he’d know how much grout he would need to finish the project. 


There have been great examples of math help, too. With videos and video chats like Zoom or Google Meets, teachers and students can walk through the problems. For high school math teacher Bri Crandall, her dog Rudolph is part of the classroom, so he joined her as she went over the quadratic formula for her class. 


Students are keeping up with art and PE at home, too, even taking part in Mileage Club, a favorite activity at school where kids run/walk to earn miles throughout the year. 


At the elementary level, teachers read-alouds are also a favorite. Many teachers are continuing that practice by either holding live read-alouds or recording themselves and sending the video. Kids can sit and listen or follow along like 3rd grader, Levi Uber. 


Teachers are creating assignments that are conducive to being at home, like household chores, outside learning (animal studies), and helping to cook. One of Mrs. Griffith’s 1st graders even invented a new recipe! Another loved the animal assignment so much, he created a PowerPoint detailing what he learned. 


There are special stories from every teacher, student and classroom during this unprecedented learning time. We’ll continue to share our stories on our website and social media. School looks different, but the OPS commitment to our kids and families remains the same. 


We’d love to share what distance learning looks like at your house! Email us a photo and short description to ops@otsegops.org.