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Distance learning starting in Southern Colorado

Social distancing school
Posted at 8:37 PM, Mar 30, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — "I understand this is something they're still working on and they've never had to do this before," said School District 11 parent, Amber Perry. Spring-break is over, now tens of thousands of Southern Colorado kids have to get back to school--only they have to do it from home.

Districts are asking for patience and collaboration from students and parents. "We cannot just pick back up and do classroom learning like nothing ever happened," said District 11 Spokesperson, Devra Ashby. The distant learning because of COVID-19 prevention is a plan coming together as it is happening.

In most districts, parents and students should plan on hearing from teachers either on the phone or through e-mail. "I’ve already been contacted by one of their teachers,” said Perry. It was a teacher from her daughter’s elementary school. She expects it will take several days to hear from her son’s multiple teachers at the middle school

This week, most districts are figuring out which students have technology equipment and connections available at home. Some will get loaner devices, while others may not need it. “We have tech and no tech options for our families,” said Ashby, “They can choose which one works best for their family."

"It's going to be bumpy and especially that first week, maybe even the first two weeks," said District 20 Spokesperson, Allison Cortez. The district for example has seen several of there on-line resources crash because of the sudden high demands from students across the county.

Teachers, students and their parents are all facing a crash course on distance learning. “E learning doesn’t mean your students going to be plugged into a device for seven and a half hours a day,” said Cortez. The technology is not the classroom. There will be some instruction; students can conference with teachers and ask questions; and assignments will be assigned and collected. Cortez says the amount of time on-line needs to be appropriate for the age of the student. “We're not recommending more than four hours for any grade level and when you look at elementary students it's far less."

Districts are working to figure out a workable plan for each individual student. It will take time to reach each one. All districts have updates and contact information on their websites.