Distant learning has been a collaborative effort of area schools.

April 21, 2020

Distant learning has been a collaborative effort of area schools.

West Shore School News is a presentation of the West Shore Educational School District.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

AMBER TOWNSHIP — Several area public schools are launching distant learning programs beginning the end of this week with the official kickoff beginning April 27. The continuity of learning programs, also known as distant learning, are not exclusive to each school district, but have actually been a coordinated effort among each of the eight school districts and one charter academy within the West Shore Educational School District, which includes Mason, Lake, and Oceana counties.

Dr. Jason Jeffrey, superintendent of the ESD, said he is very proud that each of the schools submitted their plans to the Michigan Department of Education early and those plans were approved. Jeffrey said as of late last week many districts across the state had not gotten that far.

“When you talk about collaboration, the school districts within the West Shore ESD really do it right,” Jeffrey said. “We have really worked hard the past couple years to increase that collaboration and this most recent challenge is a real great example of how the teachers, principals and superintendents in our three counties have such a desire to do a good job on behalf of the kids in the communities. When they work together they have the greatest potential to do what’s best for our children. It just gives me such faith and hope in the high quality of education each of our schools here offer.

“Up until last week, the superintendents met via teleconference every day of the work week. We continue to meet a couple times a week. This has been a coordinated effort among all the schools in Mason, Oceana, and Lake counties and it’s been quite impressive.”

Jeffrey added that area principals have also been meeting frequently since the March 16 shutdown.

He said there were many challenges in the plans.

“This change has been much harder and so much more work compared to our normal routine,” Jeffrey said. “Every decision you make has a domino effect. You are reinventing the wheel. We have many households within the ESD that do not have Internet access. That’s been a major hurdle but we have worked through it.”

Parents who have not been in touch with their respective schools should contact their child’s teacher or the school’s office as soon as possible.

This story is copyrighted © 2020, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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