Remote Learning in Action is a new series of articles from attendees and speakers of Tech & Learning's events. Click here to learn more about these events and to apply to attend.
Where: Neosho School District, Neosho, Missouri
Who: Scott Harris, Technology Director, Neosho School District
In Neosho, we are 1:1 K-12 school district with Chromebooks for grades 3-12 and iPads for K-2. However, we only have devices go home from 7-12 grades, so we scrambled to get our devices out to students in K-6. We were able to accomplish this through coordination through our technology, curriculum and communications departments.
We have a large (for us) middle school that has a very well-engineered parent pickup line and covered entrance (patio) to shield from the weather as well as one elementary school that the district services in the county just to the south of Neosho.
We decided on a drive-through distribution for Chromebooks, and scheduled it on a Monday and Tuesday from noon-7 pm to try and accommodate all parent work shifts at both locations. We did the same for our K-2 parents on Thursday at both locations as well for iPads.
Logistics regulated these pickup times as our Chromebooks were able to check out non-specifically from device to student due to the nature of the 'roaming Chrome device login' as opposed to the younger K-2 learners, who needed to have specific iPads for specific students due to their apps.
All in all, it went VERY well! We distributed more than 950 Chromebooks on Monday/Tuesday plus 650 iPads.
Our curriculum department has been working tirelessly to have what we call our COVID-19 Educational plan complete as possible, which will eventually become our AMI or Alternate Methods of Instruction plan that will be required in Missouri by DESE next year.
We are also working with any telco company who will work with us to help get connectivity to these homes. We've considered parking buses with wi-fi in neighborhoods, procuring hotspots from anyone that has them, and letting our community know about special offers from different ISPs.
We're doing everything we can to continue our student's education where we're able. It takes effort from everyone and I've been really amazed at the resilience of our staff as well as our parents to try to keep our kids on task as possible during these very strange times.