Routt Catholic High School students are continuing their tradition of rigorous academics for their remote learning program. Principal Nick Roscetti that despite a few hurdles in the beginning, Routt students have taken to the challenge of remote learning on the Google Classroom platform for the district.
Roscetti says the school is now in their third week of e-learning. “What we’ve done is modify our schedule. We generally have an 8-day regular schedule where the kids meet 5 days a week. We’ve modified that to almost like a block schedule. Our students are meeting on ‘A’ days, which are their periods 1-4; and then our ‘B’ days, which are periods 5-8 and that’s when our Early Bird students are meeting also. They are meeting every other day, so they are getting 4 days a week of instruction, 2 days per class for 45 minutes, just meeting in the mornings. Most of our teachers are utilizing Google applications and platforms to do livestreaming of their classes, which has really been cool to watch as an administrator.”
Roscetti says the lessons on the Google live stream differs from class to class. “They send every student an invitation and at the appointed time, they log in and the teachers are able to see them and they can see and hear each other and the teacher and interact live. It’s a little different than what some schools are doing. We do have some teachers doing some pre-recorded lessons that are available for the students to review at their leisure. For the most part, many of our teachers if not most are using the livestreaming option for their classroom lesson presentation.”
Roscetti says that the school was fortunate to have initiated their first year of the “one-to-one” laptop program, where every student in the district gets a laptop issued from the school specifically for homework. He says they were utilizing the laptops in classrooms and at home prior to the schools being closed. Roscetti says that only a couple of students at the school have limited to no Internet access at home and have been able to use public local hot spots in designated open areas in Jacksonville.
Roscetti says morale and attendance have remained high despite the circumstances. “Our teachers are reporting that there may be 1 student absent from a class period, which is not unusual to have 1 out of a 25-student class to be absent. Some still have appointments and other things they have to go to, but for the most part, attendance has been good. Teachers are really pleased. I think the kids enjoy seeing their teachers, and miss seeing their teachers on a daily basis. Maybe they might not admit to that – that they miss school, but I think a lot of them do. Seeing their classmates in that controlled setting where they can communicate with each other as a group – that social interaction – is something that I think they really enjoy. That’s why I think they are showing up to classes.”
Roscetti says that the school is having current talks about options for graduation at the end of May. Roscetti says that the whole education process has been turned upside down by the pandemic. He says that faculty and students have handled the adversity with poise and are continuing to carry positive outlooks for as long as the school shutdown may last.