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Northshore School District staff training for remote learning opportunities

The Northshore School District's administrative center. (Photo courtesy of Northshore School District)

All schools in the Northshore School District closed Tuesday for cleaning and to provide staff training for remote learning opportunities.

Updated Puget Sound area school closures for coronavirus concerns

Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid joined KIRO Radio Monday evening during a special report on the coronavirus response in Washington state to discuss the training.

“[We were encouraged] to make sure that we were thoughtful about planning any preparation should schools need to be closed for perhaps an extended time,” Reid said. “So we gathered staff this weekend, our senior staff, our teachers, our association leadership, and we though about what that would look like to be planned … if school was out.”

Reid said they determined what made the most sense was to craft a remote instructional model, similar to what often happens at universities, where some coursework is online and some is in class.

This is characterized as ‘remote learning’ because the online coursework allows learning to continue at home when classes can’t meet in person.

“There are many platforms that support and enable discussion groups, homework to be tagged, work to be returned, et cetera,” Reid said. “So we wanted to recognize that this is not a normal situation, pause, … and then make space for a conversation and training for all our teachers.”

If it should become necessary, Reid knows the staff has the skill set to “competently and confidently implement a remote learning model.”

Reid said her team is looking at various modules and communication tools, including Microsoft Teams, and other online programs. The school district has taken concerns about privacy and online safety into consideration when planning for remote learning. Reid said they have been listening to suggestions and sharing tips from staff, students, and parents.

“We’re actually trying to be really thoughtful about providing warnings and support for all folks that are going to be using the program,” Reid said. ” … It’s not going to be perfect, and that’s what innovation is, right? You have to create space for us to try some things that will be iterative. … We get feedback and adjust, and that’s what we do in this century in the workplace.”

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