Fall Term Updates

Notes from the Fall 2020 Planning Committee
Thursday, July 23, 2020.

On July 23, 18 people participated in the ZOOM meeting to hear an update on Mendocino County’s guidelines, a review of the Learning From Home Survey and the plans to re-open Point Arena schools with Distance Learning.

Superintendent Galletti reported Mendocino County has a new Health Officer, Andy Coren, and that 4 businesses in the county have seen COVID outbreaks. Point Arena Schools will be starting the school year with distance learning from home.

Galletti reviewed highlights from the Learning from Home (LFH) Survey results submitted by Board Member Visher. The results are from Point Arena High School’s 82 respondents, representing 60% of the students. There were not enough surveys completed from Arena Elementary students to provide valid indicators.
“Most students reported participating in distance learning most days of the week,” summarized Visher. About half of the students did school work from home for 4 – 7 days and 25% worked less than 4 days. More than half said they used on-line video platforms to access teaching 4 or 5 days a week, 12 answered less than 4 days, and 4 never went on-line.

“Although most students participated in distance learning, many felt disengaged and uninterested in the work. On the other hand many said they were motivated to do well,” summarized Visher. 67% of the students reported it was hard for them to focus on schoolwork at home. Cindy Cione suggested headphones may help with distractions. Denise Fisher suggested providing non-graded assignments to help build skills and since students are missing sports come up with on-line clubs like Minecraft and other interactive video games. Galletti reported team sports will all be scrunched into 2 seasons. Basketball and baseball will both start on March 15th. Cristin Allen, middle school teacher at Arena and volleyball coach, has been offering some remote coaching.

“Most students reported having teachers or adults that cared about them but quite a few reported feeling anxious and depressed,” summarized Visher. Many students report good mental health but a significant minority did not, with 67% feeling sad or down in the last month. 78% of respondents have someone they can talk with about their problems.

PAHS Principal Wilkes discussed distance learning plans and will soon publish class schedules. They are looking at successful on-line programs for multi-level courses. Students may have the option of on-line programs and checking in with their teachers or participating in ZOOM classrooms with peers and teachers. The NTN program could continue with teachers assigned 5 students each who will check in weekly. Wilkes said all students will come in individually at the start of school to meet teachers, get their schedules, books and supplies, etc. High school staff are looking at power standards: what students need to know and what is nice to know, and are participating in distance learning centered professional development.

Principle Carson reported staff will teach on-line classes using Google Classroom, ZOOM and small private Facebook groups. Classes can be recorded for families not available during class time. The differentiated Read Live and adaptive individualized Reflex Math computer programs will be used for primary grades plus paper packets will also be available. Cristin Allen added the middle school teachers have a schedule to provide direct live instruction on-line.

Stay Safe!