Good News!! Beardsley School has been open 5 days a week since September 8 for in-person learning! The students are thrilled to be back together again and have gotten used to wearing masks and keeping a safe distance apart from each other. Beardsley is limited to no more than 12 in a class. If more opt for in-person learning, a hybrid variation takes place where rotating groups of students remain home one day a week. Approximately one-third of the enrolled students have opted for distance learning from home. These students have been provided with appropriate devices for their grade levels, e.g. IPads, Chromebooks, or Lenovos. Teachers are struggling at times but doing their best to support the two different classrooms they are teaching each day.
The numbers of students in each classroom are limited, and students must use their own pencils, crayons, scissors, etc., as no materials, implements, or technology may be shared with each other. Sadly, no books may be checked out from the library, and all specials, i.e. art, music, and gym, are held in the classrooms.
Most of our volunteers were sad, but not surprised, to hear they are not allowed in the building because of the virus. However, the School Volunteer Association (SVA) has been working with the IT department to help volunteers utilize the district’s communications platform, Microsoft Teams, to continue reading to the classrooms. Volunteers will be able to connect virtually with their classroom and read to not only the students in their classrooms, but also those students linked in from home. Books specific to the grade levels are provided to all readers through the SVA.
The Beardsley Committee is committed to helping our regular volunteers as well as any new folks who are interested in using MS Teams to connect with students at Beardsley School. We, too, are learning how to use MS Teams, and we are eager to bring readers into Beardsley classrooms as soon as possible. This opportunity may soon be available to tutors since so many of the students learning from home are in desperate need of one-on-one attention and instruction.
We are grateful for this opportunity to continue our interactions with Beardsley students and teachers. Please contact Jamie Forbes or Anita Pfluger if you are interested in using this new 2020 version of reading to Beardsley children. Reading to Beardsley students through virtual connections will be a new experience for us all, but so gratifying if we can be with the children even remotely!