Richardson May 2020

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district had moved to an online plat- form. Then, in mid-April, the gover- nor announced schools would remain closed for the rest of the semester. “Every single one of our employ- ees has had to adapt and change and grow and stretch,” Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. Katy Lea has been an educator for seven years, but this was her rst time teaching online. Despite everything she has done to set her students up for success, she said the transition to virtual learning has been a challenge. “It’s a consensus with most of my students and parents that we would all rather be back in school and in the classroom,” Lea said. “It’s denitely a little bit harder to maintain that connection.” The district has been navigat- ing remote learning for more than two months, but it is still a work in progress, said Kristin Byno, assis- tant superintendent of teaching and learning services. “Everyone is kind of trying to adapt to it on a daily basis,” she said. “The community has really rallied around each other to support the district and support our teachers. So I think so far,

households without an internet subscription 10.4%

households with dial- up internet 0.2%

COMPUTER ACCESS households with no computer 6.6% 93.4% households with at least one computer

INTERNET ACCESS

households with a broadband internet subscription

82.7%

SOURCE: 2018 AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 5YEAR ESTIMATESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

it’s been a very positive experience.” Parents are now more responsible than ever for their child’s academic progress. For some, the ease of transi- tioning to an online platform has var- ied based on the age of the child, RISD parent Laura Schob Spradley said. “If I only had my sixth and eighth graders, this would be like a vaca- tion,” Spradley said. “[With] a second grader, I have to be really hands-on with her remote learning.” The transition to virtual learning has been challenging for all students,

an iPad to communicate. School is where she receives speech therapy, and while it has continued remotely, it is not as eective as it is in person, Laska said. “Speech therapy is much better when someone is face to face, right there with her, giving her the amount of time she is entitled to, but she’s not really getting that same thing remotely,” he said. Lea believes the biggest challenge for her students is the lack of access to or understanding of technology. This

but children with disabilities face obstacles beyond those encountered by other students. Andrew Laska’s 9-year-old daugh- ter, Samantha, has an intellectual dis- ability and is on the autism spectrum. At school, she receives hands-on guid- ance from her teachers, but during the shutdown, her parents must make sure she does not fall behind, he said. “She is not going to be self-directed like a typical kid,” he said. “She has to be directed most or all the time.” Samantha is nonverbal and uses

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