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RISD remote learning day not well-received


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A day of asynchronous learning is planned for Monday in the Roswell Independent School District to help teachers plan for the semester, but the superintendent said he is not sure the district will go forward with plans for such a day each month.

Chromebooks have been distributed so students can check into their classes remotely. Students will be given simple assignments to complete on their own Monday, and some grades might have 10 to 15 minutes of instructional time for classes. Grab and go meals will be available at each school.

RISD Superintendent Brian Luck said the day is intended mostly to give teachers a planning day that they didn’t have this week as students returned from winter break.

Normally, the RISD calendar designates the first Monday of the second semester as a teacher in-service day. The Public Education Department required schools to add 10 instructional days to their calendars for the 2021-22 school year to help make up for learning time lost due to the pandemic, and RISD added those days in part by removing some of the inservice days, including the one in January.

“If this had been a normal school year, the teachers would have had a professional development day on the first day back and it would have sufficed for what we’re trying to do next Monday,” he said.

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A lack of time to accomplish some of the basic needs of their jobs was one complaint Luck said he heard from teachers throughout the fall semester.

Teachers are used to and even accept the idea they will work late hours and even on weekends, Luck said, but he said he was concerned about the stress that was placing on them.

“I don’t want to say ‘teacher burnout,’ but for lack of a better word, I was starting to get really, really worried. We’re on a finite number of people that are signing up and sticking with us and wanting to do the job. The thought came up is there anything we can do to help out our teachers,” he said.

The feedback from parents was not positive, however.

Along with worries about arranging childcare for the day, parents expressed concerns about their children falling even farther behind without the in-class instructional day, Luck said.

Reaction from the teachers was mixed, he said.

Many said it would be easier to keep students in class, especially at the elementary levels, Luck said.

“My elementary school teachers are very concerned about the progress of their kids and they just wanted to make sure that this was not something that would continue any kind of slide in the kiddos that they’ve already got,” he said.

Luck said the district will evaluate whether or not to have future asynchronous learning days.

“If it’s not something that is supported and something that I can’t feel good about, then we’ll look to do something different in the future,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln Counties will open its Roswell club for the day at 7:30 a.m. Monday to help its members’ families, according to Unit Director Natasha Sorg. Staff will be on hand in the morning to help the children access the WiFi network. Members must sign up in advance. A lunch and snack will be served.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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