The Pleasant Grove Independent School District's instructional model was presented at a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday night, demonstrating how the virtual learning process will look for remote students.
PGISD is offering on-campus, traditional learning and remote learning to students come Aug. 10. The remote learning methods will include lessons through Google Meet and Google Classroom for grades 3-12, while Pre-K through second grades will use Seesaw Learning with support from adults at home.
The presentation consisted of a breakdown of how these applications would be used and what a student's perspective would be in this learning environment.
Campus learning coordinators Magan Wisdom and Joy Richardson acted as teacher and student, respectively, displaying the student's view from their new document cameras, where a teacher might display assignments or lessons through Google Meet.
To get a clearer picture of the distinct differences between the old document cameras and the new ones the district will be receiving in September, the old camera view was compared to the new one, which was visibly clearer from the teacher and student's perspectives.
With the new cameras and headsets, the coordinators believe teachers will be able to closely simulate a traditional classroom setting through one click of a Google Classroom link.
Portraying the Seesaw learning system for Pre-K through second graders was elementary coordinator Brittany Beaird, who said she had trained elementary teachers all day on how to use the application.
"They are so excited about this," Beaird said. "We can set up links to books inside of Seesaw. With textbox, they can type, and for the babies who aren't typers yet, they can draw what they want to share. They can also take pictures."
Beaird showed an example of an assignment, where students simply click on an enlarged lightbulb on the screen to add a response. Students can record their voice and thinking as they do so.
When submitted, the teacher can approve or send back the assignment for it to be redone, but this information will only be visible to the student it's sent to.
"We're also training all of our face-to-face kids how to use Seesaw, in case we have to go home," Beaird said. "We're connecting our families to it, and they get notifications when our students post something new to their journal."
PGISD Superintendent Chad Pirtle was quick to point out the district is lucky to have Beaird, who is well-acquainted with the ins and outs of Seesaw.
"(Beaird) is a Seesaw ambassador, so she doesn't just know how to work Seesaw, she goes on a state level training other educators," Pirtle said. "We are so blessed to have her be a leader on that elementary campus."
Pirtle said there will be ample training opportunities for teachers regarding remote learning in the coming days, citing Labor Day as a checkpoint for when things can be expected to be running smoothly.
"What I have challenged our team with is we're going to be very methodical with our plan until Labor Day," he said. "By then, I think we're going to be in an amazing place to educate all of our students. But we are going to ask for grace those first couple of weeks, because we're going to have to work through some things. We're very flexible in our plan, but we're working until Labor day instead of trying to cram it all in next week. We're not going to sink the ship."
"This is how we're ensuring high levels of learning for all students."
In other news from the meeting, an amendment to pay grades for 2020-2021 was approved, including a 2 percent pay raise to all administration and auxiliary employees. Step raises were approved for teachers, librarians, nurses and counselors based on the current salary schedule.
Also approved was a new technology position to assist with the remote learning process.