Educators talk about what classes will look like in Novi

Empty classroom covid-19
Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 18:17:33-04

NOVI, Mich. (WXYZ) — Teachers around metro-Detroit are going above and beyond to try to give children opportunities as they are forced to change the way education is delivered due to COVID-19.

So what will the fall look like?

7 Action News spoke to educators as they met to prepare for the school year in Novi to talk about this.

In the Novi Community School District this fall students will either learn virtually or they will have a hybrid schedule, where they learn in person about half time.

Teachers say to do this, they are getting creative.

“For my kids that aren’t coming into the building at all, what kind of things can I send home?” Emily Pohlonski, the K12 Science Coordinator, is asking herself.

Over her summer break, she found herself cutting swim noodles and PVC pipe to make fake limbs. She will use them to teach students how to stop bleeding with pressure and a tourniquet. She also is editing video tutorials.

Putting together one video tutorial can take 11 hours.

“I ask parents to give us grace while we figure this out,” she said.

Electives will also be different.

7 Action News spoke to an elementary physical education teacher. In the elementary school gym will be offered to hybrid students in the first and fourth quarter, so they can do more outside. Virtual students will have gym in the second or third quarter.

The goal is to have elective teachers interacting with fewer students. Instead of providing their class year-round, students will have one elective each quarter. It also limits students' exposure to other students.

“We feel it is safer. It is more of the cohort strategy we have in keeping our kids as isolated as possible,” said Ryan Smith, Orchard Hills Elementary Physical Education Teacher.

Smith says for virtual lessons teachers are giving students options so that all are included, regardless of what items they have at home. For example, to practice tossing, you could use a ball, frisbee, or socks.

Educators have also been on committees this summer to improve processes.

Adva Ringle is the Supervisor of Novi’s English Language Development Program, which serves about 2,000 students. She says with virtual lessons English language learners sometimes weren’t exposed to as much English, so a committee created programs to help. It includes outreach to each ELL parent.

“How do we create that relationship where we are learning from you, you are learning from us and together we are really coming around supporting your child?” she said is the question they hope to have answered.

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