Eagle County Schools students, teachers send their love online | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Schools students, teachers send their love online

Web-based offerings range from tributes to tutorials

Sending their love online

Buildings are better, but online is fine for now.

Teachers and students across Eagle County Schools miss being in the same classroom and are reaching out to one another across the digital divide. Not just through online classes, although students and teachers say they’re generally going pretty well, but also with videos designed to inform, entertain and inspire.

“Teachers love and miss the daily interaction with their students and felt compelled to create videos to convey that to their student’s families to also encourage students to persevere and know they will all reunite at school,” said Dan Dougherty, Eagle County Schools’ chief communications officer.

Videos range from Nicole Dewell’s virtual fist bump to elementary schools producing news programs encouraging students to both stay engaged and get outside, to the school district’s “I Love My Teacher” social media campaign.

EVTV virtual broadcast

Eagle Valley High School’s EVTV crew produced and posted their first virtual broadcast. Like most media these days, it’s dominated by COVID-19 coverage — e-learning and the realities of life online.

Drake Berg says it’s helping his grades, but he misses his classmates.

“I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I miss being at the high school. I miss seeing everyone and being part that whole environment,” Berg said.

The Colorado High School Activities Association canceled spring activities, from speech debate to lacrosse, canceling several athletes’ last run in the sun.

“For the seniors, it’s our last season. We’ve been working hard, and it’s disappointing that it’s being cut short,” Eagle Valley senior track star Joslin Blair said.

“It’s very frustrating that our senior season is being taken away from us,” Eagle Valley lacrosse standout Hannah Medina said.

It’s all for the greater good, of course.

“Everyone is trying to look at the big picture,” Tom LaFramboise, Eagle Valley’s athletic director said.

Meanwhile, Homestake Peak School’s Word of the Week is “Patience.”

Show and tell

“Welcome to another great day of distance learning!” exclaimed Brush Creek Elementary School Bobcat broadcast hosts Sophie Loyd and Seth Wilde.

Eagle County Schools shifted more quickly than most to online learning. When the school board pulled the plug on in-person classes during a special March 13 meeting, most teachers managed to move their classes online over that weekend.

There were a few technical glitches. Some software programs did not work. The district passed out Chromebook computers and set up internet hotspots in several neighborhoods around the valley so students could access their online classes.

It turns out that, like most classrooms, online learning can be as vast as the imaginations of the people generating it. Some even created show-and-tell videos.

For their show and tell, Avon Elementary School teachers and staff trotted out old pets, new babies, and children large and small. They led the Pledge of Allegiance in both English and Spanish, followed it with news, weather and sports that included admonitions to go outside.

On the other hand, if you’re a great indoorsman, hand exercises can improve mood and memory. You do them while counting them in Spanish and English.

Mostly it’s fine. Kids are learning most of the stuff they’re supposed to. Teachers are working, sometimes harder than ever.

“It’s a lot of work,” said Walter Knight, a language arts teacher at Eagle Valley. “So far my students seem to be getting what they need … so it’s worth it.”

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