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Leaders in Learning: Transitioning to digital learning for the Boise School District

Leaders in Learning: Transitioning to digital learning for the Boise School District
Leaders in Learning: Transitioning to digital learning for the Boise School District
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An issue many in our community are concerned with is lack of student access to not only technology like laptops, but even basic digital learning needs like internet access.

But the Boise School District has a plan, and they are working to assess their needs.

That's why this week school administrators say parents should stay by their phones.

"Communication is key for us, probably more so now than ever before, now that everyone is sheltered at home a lot has changed over the last week," explains Public Affairs Administrator for the Boise School District, Dan Hollar.

"We have to remember it was just last week when the governor issued the stay at home order and the State Board of Education closed public schools through April 20th."

Now, as the Boise School District looks ahead they are preparing for what Hollar calls "Phase One" of establishing the districts digital learning plan.

"As of Monday of this week, we rolled out what's called stay at home learning and essential services and this is the initial step in reestablishing, reconnecting with our students and with our teachers," Hollar explains. "So phase one is to have our teachers call each individual student this week and check on them make sure they are doing okay and that their family is doing alright and if they need of resources, community resources that we have those ready for them."

This is step one in determining if students have what they need to be successful in online learning.

Hollar specifies that they are working to see which students need laptops or IPads, and even basic necessities like internet.

"A number of our families don't have the internet," Hollar explains. "We are taking that information and compiling it this week and next week to determine what wireless hot spots we need to create in the district and what other devices we need to loan out. We have thousands of Chromebooks in the district that's a positive. And we have 8,000 plus laptops and we are willing and able to loan those out. This is all about establishing re-establishing the deeper relationship that our teachers have built over the last few months and over the school year."

Hollar says that they have the resources to create hundreds of WiFi hot spots for students so that they can feel comfortable and confident when classes begin again.

The district hopes to roll out Phase two of digital learning by mid April.

Rolling out content based lesson plans that are grade and course specific.

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So a reminder that teachers will be calling students throughout this week, so Hollar wants parents to know that if they get a call from a non district number, make sure to pick it up.

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