Starkville/Oktibbeha School District helping teachers transition to virtual learning

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- It’ll be a school year like no other.

Virtual learning becoming a major focus for school districts across the state.

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And in Starkville, the school district has rolled out its virtual plans for the upcoming school year.

“It’s hard to describe what it will look like first,” said Dr. Leann Long, Director Of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning for the school district. “We definitely want our parents to be our partners.”

Dr. Long said a lot of planning went into making sure teachers are best equipped for virtual learning.

“Our intention is to provide them support not only at the beginning but weekly throughout school,” said Dr. Long. “Every week they will learn something new or add on to what they’ve learned so we’ll scaffold their learning just as they scaffold learning for our students in the classroom.”

The school district’s plans changed after a higher than expected number of parents requested virtual learning.

Long said teachers will be providing several types of teaching to students.

“There will be a combination of synchronous learning which will be live learning or learning with the teacher on the computer at a certain time,” she said. “And then there will also be some asynchronous learning where students will complete assignments or do activities like reading or whatever that may be at another time.”

Educators know some students will adapt to virtual learning faster than others.

“Just as in our classroom that we differentiate learning,” said Dr. Long. “We would do the same in virtual learning. That each student will complete material as fast or as slow as they need to depend on their learning or their needs. And we are definitely going to help our teachers be able to maintain that environment in a virtual classroom just as they did in their traditional classroom.

The first day of the school year is set for August 24.

To learn more about the school district’s virtual plans, click here.