By Dan Werle | CNA Media Team
Students in Concordia are facing significant educational challenges and changes due to the pandemic. School buildings continue to be closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so virtual learning is a must. How’s it going? CNews checked in with a few families.
Noah Marmor, an 11th grader at Metropolitan Learning Center, studies online. He acknowledges the unprecedented challenges.
“I think learning should be a little lax. There is only so much you can learn in a certain amount of time.” Outside of school, he said, “The lack of physical interaction makes learning social skills difficult.”
Lis Charman’s and Brad Trost’s daughter, 13-year-old Meade, attends Metro Montessori School virtually.
“The biggest bummer for Meade is the absence of outdoor school,” Lis reported. It would have provided the girl and her classmates opportunities to cook, camp and learn problem-solving skills in the wilderness.
Lis added that Meade is sad at spending more time away from peers. “Meade and I both get energy from being with people.”
Lora and Matthew Lillard help with distance learning for their three Faubion students, 8th grader Dean, 6th grader Fiona and 4th grader Leo.
They like the slow start of distance learning to work through some of the logistical and technological kinks in the new systems. Both reconfigured their workdays to offer tech support.
They have also learned multiple platforms like Canvas, Remind, Clever, Seesaw, Zoom, Google Classroom and Google Meet.
Anne Koski is the mother of a 7th grade daughter at Faubion School and a 4th grade daughter at ACCESS Academy. “She’s adapting really well and she’s more comfortable speaking over Zoom,”
Anne said of her 7th grader. And Anne appreciates the opportunities the online platforms allow that daughter. “She logs into Canvas, does her work and can be more autonomous.”
Like others, Anne recognizes the pandemic has made social skills development more challenging for her 4th grader.
“The carrot has been removed from school,” Anne acknowledged. “Their favorite parts of school – P.E., recess and lunch – are different or gone. She has a single ‘pod’ friend we’re considering arranging play dates with.”
Anne owns Homegrown Fit and offers suggestions – proven effective in her own home – for parents developing at-home workstations for their children and themselves.
She offers a free, four-minute video at YouTu.be/b6O_UYjxeX4.
“Sitting in a chair at a desk for long periods of time is not healthy,” she said. “Consider making a workstation flexible.” That means working from the floor, a desk and standing. “Mixing it up is the way to go.”
Dan Werle lives in Concordia with his wife, Anna, and their dogs.