By Clint Parker
Buncombe County – For the lives of most of Buncombe County residents, big changes have taken place over COVID19, including the lives of about 24,000 Buncombe County School students.
“The transition to virtual learning is going well, given the circumstances. Our curriculum and technology departments spent several weeks creating a virtual framework in anticipation of the governor making the call to stop student instruction in our buildings,” Stacia Harris, Director of Communications for Buncombe County Schools told the Tribune.
“Our teachers have assembled great lesson plans and the kids enjoy staying in touch with their classmates via these online platforms. I should note that our technology department is working to connect mobile hotspots for our families that might not have the internet. Also, our teachers can provide alternate assignments if necessary. We are so proud of how effectively our teachers are customizing learning based on students’ needs,” Harris said.
According to Harris younger students in grades K-3 are predominantly using a platform called Seesaw, while older students are primarily using Google Classroom and Canvas. “Also, our students are already digital 1:1.”
Asked to clarify the digital 1:1 statement, Harris said, “Digital 1:1 means that each of our students has been issued a school laptop or iPad. Kids in grades K through two get the iPads. And our students in grades three through 12 get a touchscreen laptop. They use it at school to augment instruction. And the middle and high school students are permitted to take it home to do homework on it. Also, our school-issued devices all have software on them so students can safely use the internet if they are on or off campus.”
Harris explained, “We want to remind everyone that this is only day three of BCS Virtual Days and day five of an unprecedented change to our school schedule. Our buildings remain open to provide critical services such as meal preparation and meal delivery. Our principals and teachers are also working with families when any concerns or questions come up. We ask our families to reach out to the school directly anytime!”