GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND: OKCPS staff help students, families through virtual learning

Digital Original

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The pandemic has had a major impact on the way students and teachers navigate the school year, transitioning from the classroom to virtual learning. Staff within Oklahoma City Public Schools are going above and beyond to ensure students get a quality curriculum while learning from home.

Principals and teachers at Roosevelt Middle School have taken on a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality for students and their families, making home deliveries for technology and even dropping off meals.

It first started with the delivery of Chromebooks, after the school received phone calls from parents saying they didn’t have a ride to pick up the technology.

“So principals and other teachers just hopped in their cars and started delivering Chromebooks,” said Scott Farley, Principal at Roosevelt Middle School.

Next, Farley said the school received a list of about 200 families who needed hotspots. So they delivered those, as well. 

Roosevelt Middle School
Principals and teachers at Roosevelt Middle School are going above and beyond to help students and their families through virtual learning. (Photo: KFOR)

“It’s just a thing that the staff here at Roosevelt, that’s the type of people they are,” said Farley. “A lot of the times on our way home from work is when we’ll deliver a hotspot or a computer.”

The staff has even knocked on doors to ensure students have what they need for virtual learning.

“We had this young lady that had not logged on at all, and so two of her teachers came to us and were like, ‘hey, we’re having trouble reaching this person. She hasn’t logged on.’ So we went to the house,” said Farley. “She had a Chromebook. She needed a hotspot. So we got her a hotspot, and then we sat down and showed her and her grandma, ‘this is what you do to log on. This is how you meet with your teachers every day.’”

The staff said sometimes the reasons students are not logging on aren’t so simple… From missing the first pivotal days of learning how to log on, to sharing the wifi with several siblings. 

Seventh grade math teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, Christine Hays, said she and her fellow math teachers came up with a helpful solution.

“As a seventh grade math team, we specifically created a youtube channel of all of our math lessons,” said Hays. “They’re able to go back, rewatch the lessons, watch them at their own pace and then those kids don’t fall behind.”

The teachers are also utilizing office hours on Wednesdays to make sure students are completing assignments. Students can simply reach out to their teachers online.

Instead of an honor system, the district has tools that show them what students are actually up to, using a program called GoGuardian.

“So even if they’re not showing up to class, Ms. Hays can switch over to that student’s view and see what that student’s doing,” said Farley. “So if that student’s spending a lot of time on Youtube but not coming to the Meets, that’s a conversation we can have with that family about helping that student get on the right track.”

Oklahoma City Public Schools would like to reiterate to parents that if your student needs anything, from meals to hotspots, contact the student’s school and people can help. The district wants to make sure all students are taken care of and that they are able to learn in this virtual environment.

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