BATON ROUGE – Students and teachers are halfway through the first week of 100-percent virtual learning in East Baton Rouge Parish. As expected, there have been some kinks to work out. But many schools have set up teams to help parents and students get the hang of going to school at home.
“We are available to answer calls all day long,” said Candice Hartley, the principal at Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
Hartley and three other administrators have put together an admin rapid response team. Parents can either call, email or ask a question via messenger and get an immediate response regarding virtual learning.
“The main questions are what the expectations are, where can I find this or that. Everyone is trying to learn how to use Google classroom,” said Sydney Hebert, the Magnet Site Coordinator.
Technical support is essential right now with every student attending class online. So much so, it’s become part of the curriculum.
“Every day I’m teaching a tech tips class to every grade level, K-5. So I’m teaching them how to use their chrome books or how to use their tablets,” said technology specialist, Jessica Vicknair.
Teachers are also easing their students into the technology during the beginning of the school year.
“This is what it looks like when I give you an assignment in google classroom, this is where you find it. Let’s practice how you turn it in, because we can all get tech tips once a week but we have to practice,” Hebert said.
Principal Hartley said she wanted to create a one-stop shop for information and did that with a FAQ sheet on their website. The school has also set up a weekly parent Q and A video chat.
“Because we also have parents who are dropping their kids off with a babysitter, grandma or the YMCA and someone always has a question,” Hartley said.
When every question is answered, the result is a dance, library or gym teacher holding their class through a web cam, and the student on the other end is able to participate without skipping a beat.
The Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts is also recording their live lessons and putting them online, in case parents who have to work can’t go over the lessons at the time they’re being taught.