Local school districts plan for distance learning

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — With the chance students don’t return to classrooms this year, school districts have two weeks to create plans for distance learning.

School districts across Oregon are scrambling to figure out how to teach from a distance.

“A little less high touch and a little more high tech,” Champion said.

Distance learning kicks off for all school districts April 13, but it will look a little different from district to district.

“Simplicity and grace in everything that we’re doing,” Champion said.

Medford School District is starting a slow roll out of their Medford Anywhere Learning Plan.

“We’re working hard to try to have a plan that is simple to implement, that is simple for our students to grasp and is simple for our parents to help support,” Champion said.

The plan combines teacher-led lessons on video platforms, like Google Classroom or Zoom, with students implementing the practices on their own. As for specific lesson plans, that’s up to the teachers.

“They’re going to have the ability to customize it for their particular groups of kids,” Champion said.

Ashland School District says it’ll look different depending on the age group. Elementary schools are using a lot of workbooks and handouts, while middle schoolers and high schoolers will spend more time with online learning.

“Taking the stuff that they were going to be doing spring term anyway and putting it online,” Laurie Rooper, Ashland School District, said.

The Grants Pass School District is rolling out it’s own program called ‘Grants Pass Learning at Home.’ It will ensure every child can access the class work, whether that be through a computer screen or printed handouts.

While each district is tackling distance learning in their own way, they’re all focusing on connectivity between teachers and students.

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Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.
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