School’s In: How are teachers navigating the COVID-19 pandemic?

Local News

(WFRV) – School’s in for the fall semester, but what does teaching during a pandemic entail?

Local 5 this Morning talked to some local teachers, to gain a better perspective on what it takes to teach young students virtually and in-person with new coronavirus procedures.

Check out the full segment below!

Local 5 School’s In: A Teacher’s Perspective

WRIGHTSTOWN, Wis, (WFRV) – For first grade teacher Morgan Roznowski, this school year is anything but normal. It marks her second year as a teacher at St. Clare Catholic School- her first amid a pandemic.

“We’re about two weeks in now, starting in-person again and it’s been going really well,” says Roznowski.”The biggest change, of course, is having to wear masks. I teach first grade so it’s been sort of interesting to try and get six to seven year olds to keep their masks on. They always want to pull them down- they tell me they’re getting hot or they can’t breathe.”

Last year, St. Clare made the switch to virtual for its last three months of school. It wasn’t until after having repeated talks with the Green Bay Diocese throughout the summer they knew they’d be coming back.

“We didn’t really know what was going to happen in the fall- if we were going to be in-person or online again,” said Roznowski. “We realized with our small class sizes, especially, that we could be in-person.”

But one of the setbacks being faced for students is the inability to work close together. Instead, portions of the classroom have been taped off to allow for distancing.

“I feel like that’s a really big part when you’re in a lower grade,” says Roznowski. “During playtime, especially, they have little STEM bins that they have to play with with themselves. They can’t really share the toys or anything.”

And yet– while there have been some setbacks, the positives far outweigh the negative.

“It’s just good for them to be able to see each other’s faces and my face,” said Roznowski. “They can actually still come to me and ask questions instead of looking at me over a computer screen. I think it’s really helpful that I can be there walking around and still helping them with all of their school work.”

Live Interview with Ms. Genz

Chelly talked with Stormee Genz, a first grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Green Bay. You may recall that the Green Bay School district has decided to teach classes in a virtual format, that includes the younger grades too.

Ms. Genz talks about what her day is like while she teaches from her home. Challenges that the virtual format brings was also discussed in the interview. She also mentions how her lessons may or may not be reaching her students due to the virtual format.

Top 5 Things You Need to Know that School’s In

Teachers and administrators across northeast Wisconsin are doing a lot of adjusting during the 2020 school year.

Here are five ways they’re adapting, now that School’s In.

In the classroom; Teachers are making major changes to keep students and staff safe while learning during the pandemic.

In the United School District of De Pere, where students have in-person classes, teachers are spacing desks apart to provide social distancing. 

All teachers and staff are also trained to recognize COVID-19 symptoms, and remind students regularly of proper hygiene

 For those learning exclusively virtually; How teachers define a students attendance has a new look. 

Teachers in the Appleton Area School District now have to keep attendance based not only on a student being virtually present, but also on a child virtually participating. 

If a teacher notices a lack of virtual engagement, it means the student might need an extra boost of support.

Then there’s the hybrid model; Attendance looks different here too.           

The Oshkosh Area School District is using a hybrid learning plan..

Students are in ‘A’ or ‘B’ groups and attend in person or virtually depending on the day.

Teachers here have to keep in mind students and siblings who live in the same household when creating their groups.

These models do of course have similarities.

Teachers have to undergo a whole new set of training for lesson plans. That includes being ready to switch to virtual at any point, should a COVID-19 case arise.

Communication; Teachers are finding new ways to communicate and stay supportive of students during a time when things are different for both the kids and administrators.

Tune in Wednesday morning to see how parents are learning to adapt to new normals during the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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