Lincoln schools prepare for fall semester, possibility of more distance learning

A Lincoln teacher meets with her class via Zoom.
A Lincoln teacher meets with her class via Zoom.(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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Lincoln Public Schools said they will release definite plans for the future of the district on July 1st regarding the possibilities of distance learning in the future. Now, teachers and administrators are finding out what worked for remote learning and how they could apply it to the future if needed.

"They were forced to try different methods of instruction than they've used before, and they're going to continue to use some of them because they worked so well," said Matt Heibel, principal at Lincoln Lutheran Schools.

Thursday, LPS sent out surveys to parents to find out how their distance learning approach worked for their students.

"Would they prefer every day, but half a day... would they prefer all day, but for a week, then the next week attend via zoom?" said Matt Larson, the associate superintendent of instruction at LPS. "Would they prefer their child stay home and attend school remotely full time?"

Some schools, like LPS and Pius X used a pre-recorded approach. Lincoln Lutheran used live Zoom sessions.

"Some households, it was just tough with multiple kids," said Tom Korta, the principal at Pius X. "It was hard to get access to a Zoom when it's a shared computer so there were a variety of factors to find success in this environment."

"We're trying to figure out how to allow half to be here and half at home, but still being in the same class," said Heibel.

Korta said their student's grades stayed about the same, but they're always looking to improve in the future.

"We did a grade comparison, and really our grade distribution was very close to what it had been to a year prior; a majority of our students never missed a beat," said Korta. "One key thing, as we look forward to some sort of distance learning, which I think we'll have on some level when fall comes around, standardization is going to be a key piece for us."

Every administrator said, no matter what the future holds, they all want their students back in the classroom.

"We know that any decision that we make is going to have an impact on families and the community at large," said Larson.

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