With the school closures due to COVID19 bearing down on them, Socorro Independent School District educators and leaders worked quickly and proactively to provide online instruction and educational resources for students in all grade levels to use for the duration of the crisis.
Now, SISD officials are pulling the curtain back on the Remote Learning Academy and talking about the program.
The district launched the Team SISD Remote Learning Academy on March 24 so that teachers and students may continue teaching and learning from the safety of their homes during the unprecedented pandemic situation.
“Thank you again to our AMAZING teachers & instructional leadership team for developing #TeamSISD Remote Learning Academy in mere days! Your resilience/commitment to continue serving our children during this unprecedented time is remarkable,” said SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D. in posts on Twitter and Facebook. “Parents, thank you for helping us keep students engaged!”
As part of the Remote Learning Academy, school principals and teachers worked to develop both online and offline learning assignments and activities so students can continue learning at home.
“I’m so proud of every single one of our teachers because I know that this is brand new to a lot of them,” said Jennifer Marquez, interim principal at Robert R. Rojas Elementary. “They are just going to get better because they have a good attitude.”
Cactus Trails Elementary Pre-K teacher Kristina Younger has been using a variety of online tools to keep in touch and work with her students and peers like Microsoft Teams, Zoom Video Communications, and ClassDojo.
“It’s important for students to continue their education despite all of this because for our little ones their minds are just developing. For all students, we don’t want them to lose what they’ve already retained and want them to keep building their knowledge,” she said.
Seventh-grade student Sophia Galindo of Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School said she’s enjoying online learning for the most part because she can do it at her own pace, but she misses the interaction with her teachers.
“It’s important to keep learning because if we go on to the next grade level not knowing the rest of the content that we were supposed to learn in our current grade, then we are going to be confused,” Galindo said.
Schools also have put together packets for students who may not have internet access at home, which can be picked up at schools during the breakfast/lunch pickup time. Parents also can arrange with schools for packets to be delivered to their homes.
“We are just keeping our students in mind and making sure that they are presented with the information the way that best fits their needs,” Marquez said.