LEDGER – Mitchell County Schools began its remote learning curriculum Monday, March 23, in response to the threat of the coronavirus, the same day Gov. Roy Cooper extended school closures until May 15.
Middle and high school students have received assignments and instructions from their teachers via email, while elementary school students picked up work packets at their schools.
In an emergency board of education meeting Wednesday, March 18, Superintendent Chad Calhoun said K-3 students would likely be able to take school computer devices home to complete their work in the next few weeks. For now, they are limited to physical work packets. Students in grades 4-12 already have their computers at home.
During the board of education meeting, Calhoun said there would be no one-on-one teaching over a video conference service because not all students would have enough bandwidth strength to support it. Instead, teachers will upload prerecorded lecture videos and provide assignments and readings through documents and websites.
Because much of the curriculum will be online, one of the more significant problems the school system has faced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is a lack of internet access among some students, especially those living in rural areas.
The school district has received funding from Dogwood Health Trust for several WiFi hotspots around the county to combat the problem. Once the devices arrive, they will be installed in various community buildings, such as churches and businesses.
Students will be able to come to these hotspots to use the internet and download assignments, but they will not be able to leave their cars and enter the buildings.