BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) – As coronavirus cases go up, more districts are moving to remote learning.
For a number of teachers and students in all those districts, they’ve made online learning work since the beginning.
“Welcome, everyone. We are going to start in just five minutes. You do not need anything for your social studies class today,” said teacher Kelly Neff to her online class on Friday.
Neff is a second-grade teacher for Butler’s Virtual Academy. She is one of a handful of teachers working out of the old Broad Street Elementary School.
“They are really thriving in this environment. They use voices when they are reading. They are totally engaged,” Neff said.
“This is a real change in our cyber program to have elementary students, where last year we had six kids under sixth grade. Now we have 450,” said Superintendent Brian White.
Those teachers are working in one building to collaborate and troubleshoot any issues that may come up.
“I’m surprised at how we all adapted to doing this. The first week, I only had one screen and now I have two monitors and I don’t know how I ever operated without it,” Neff said.
So what does an average online school day look like?
“Everybody joins in the morning for what we call morning meeting to set the tone for the day and go over our agenda. Then the kids sign up for different times. I have three different English and language arts sessions,” Neff said.
Butler is unique in that parents can switch the pathway for their child at any point. If you decided on Thursday that you want your child to move to full remote in the Butler Cyber Academy, the child would be there on Monday.
While the whole district will be fully remote next week, about 1,500 students are enrolled specifically in the cyber program.