The Lake Mills Area School District will officially start online learning on March 30. Llast week all students in the district had the opportunity to pick up needed materials and the technology they will need for the foreseeable future.

“We believe that LMASD educators are critically important to the education of our students,” said Amanda Thompson, director of curriculum and Instruction. “With that belief, we will be facilitating learning at the highest level possible during our brick and mortar school closing. We know that learning is social, therefore, students need to be connected to their teachers and each other daily during this unique time.”

“We took the approach of using our district approved curriculum and our current technology tools to deliver high quality learning for our students,” she said. “Our first step was to make sure all of our teachers were familiar with Google Classroom as a warehouse for student assignments, activities, and assessments, Google Meet for virtual connection with students, and Screencastify to provide engaging content from our teachers for our students. From there all grade level and department teams got to work reframing how we can provide excellence for our students in a time of unprecedented circumstances.”

The goal during the school closure is for the work done by students to count as instructional hours. Students will be expected to visit LMASD Virtual Learning page Monday-Friday, starting March 30. Students will be using Google Classroom to access all of their learning materials and parents will receive weekly learning summaries regarding their children via email from Google Classroom.

Thompson said the district is providing flexibility for students during the virtual learning process.

“For some families it will make the most sense to complete school work in the morning while for others it will make the most sense to complete school work in the evenings when a family member is available to help. Our hope is to provide enough direction through our online platform that students can be independent in their learning,” she said.

She said the district understands some parents may have a difficult time supporting students while working.

“Many of the teachers providing virtual learning also have children of their own that they are also trying to support. Our student service team will be providing resources and tips to help families during this transition.”

The district provided these expectations to help both students and parents expectations for virtual learning.

For students with unique learning challenges and individualized educations plans Melissa Brown, special education director and her team of teachers are working to provide resources and support to students.

In a video posted to the school district’s Facebook page Friday District Administrator Pam Streich said, “I want to thank my staff. There are so many people who have worked so hard.”

“We’ve retooled what education will look like,” she said.

All students have a device and access to the internet at this point Streich said in an email Monday.

“Our survey and our follow up phone calls have allowed us to get WIFI hot spots to those who said they needed them. Thank you for the generous donation from CAPE, the Arts Alliance and gracious individual donors.”

The school district’s website will be the launching site for virtual learning, Streich said.

“We are still here, we are her for you to answer any of your questions. Call our schools, email us. We are here to support you through this challenging time.”

Streich emphasized how this is a time for parents to model for their children how to take on a new challenge.

“We are coming together as a community, as a school district, as a state, as a country and a world really and thanks to everybody for your graciousness and patients. Our kids are watching us, so let’s make sure we are modeling the kindness and support we’ve seen so far.”

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