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Johnson County educators go digital

By Meg Dickens
STAFF WRITER

Students have been at home for several weeks now. Now Johnson County Schools educators are working together to bring a little more normalcy to kids’ lives with digital resources. Students can experience lessons chosen by their teachers, along with some extracurricular activities. Digital learning may be the answer to keeping kids sharp until schools reopen.

“The desire of Johnson County Schools during the closure associated with COVID-19 is to continue to provide opportunities to maintain and reinforce learning for all students,” said Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox in an April 1 notice. “Our primary concern during this time is the safety and health of both our students and employees. During this time, we should have the mindset that we are facilitating ongoing learning with our students and providing resources to help our students to continue to grow academically.”

Many teachers are using Google as a base. Google Classrooms and Google Docs are the most common. Here teachers provide links for everything from education to speech, physical education, and music lessons. Teachers are continuing to assign work and communicate with students outside of the classroom. Each teacher has a minimum of two hours open each day to communicate directly with parents and students.

Educators are taking advantage of social media. The Johnson County Tennessee Department of Education Facebook page and individual school pages are a heavily used resource. Educators link resources and schedule activities such as book drops and digital Easter egg hunts through posts.

Select teachers and Central Office officials are even reading books to younger students over Facebook videos. Closed schools do not stop teachers from meeting while staying in compliance with Safer at Home regulations. Teachers attend virtual meetings, and the Johnson County School Board plans to meet through a mixture of technology and limited contact during their normal time and at their normal place. Anyone who would like to attend, with a maximum of 10 viewers, must watch in Heritage Hall Theatre through closed-circuit television.  Find out more about Johnson County’s COVID-19 plans and meetings at jocoed.net.