ABERDEEN, MISS. (WCBI) – Students in the Aberdeen school district are back in class, either through distance learning or in an on-campus hybrid model. Whichever method they choose, students get the same lesson, by the same teacher, at the same time.
As Stephanie Deavens teaches African-American History to students in her classroom, others are following along through ZOOM from their home and also from the Junior ROTC classroom downstairs.
Students have the option of distance or hybrid learning. Different methods of instruction are part of a long list of new policies and procedures in place because of Covid-19.
“We have an A day and a B day. A day is Monday and Wednesday, we have ninth and tenth graders, B day is Tuesday and Thursday we have eleventh and twelfth graders,” said Sherell Drake, Assistant Principal.
That means there are only about 100 to 125 students on campus each day. Those students stay in their homeroom the entire day, watching each class on ZOOM. They take notes and can ask questions.
Distance learners have the same system, called “Campus Knot” but they use their own devices.
“It’s kind of like having a house, Campus Knot is the house, and all of the resources and tools in Campus Knot, it’s like we have all of our furniture and all of our equipment and TVS and appliances in our home, that’s how I express to parents to make a comparison,” Drake said.
Students get their temperatures checked daily, social distancing and masks are mandated on campus. Lunches are delivered to each homeroom to make sure there are no large groups of students in the hallways. Teachers and students say adapting to the new policies have been a big learning curve, but everyone is adjusting.
“I know it’s tough because some parents aren’t as familiar with technology as others, but they’ve been asking great questions and making this a wonderful experience for us,” said History Teacher Stephanie Deavens.
“We could focus on just negative aspects of anything and everything, but I think there will be positive lessons that we will be able to use to help make the way we deliver content to our students that much more effective,” said Maj. Allen Williams, Junior ROTC Instructor.
“With the pandemic, as far as school goes, the learning has gotten more complicated and we have to lean more towards technology, than we used to, like book work, it’s stressful sometimes, but in the end it will all pay off,” said Senior Steven Smith.
Schools throughout the district are using the same teaching methods, overcoming the same challenges and obstacles while providing a safe learning environment.
Students in Aberdeen do not go to school on Friday. Schools are deep cleaned, and teachers take part in professional development activities.