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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota


Vermilion Country School puts distance learning plan in place


TOWER- With teachers set up to use Google Classroom, software to manage classroom assignments and materials, and Google Meet for video-conferencing, Vermilion Country School teachers set out for their first week of distance learning on Monday.
“Each teacher is coming up with the best way for them to conduct each class,” said VCS Administrator Frank Zobitz. Some teachers will be teaching live over Google Meet, and others will be posting assignments and materials in Google Classroom, he said. Live lessons were being recorded, so they could be reviewed at a later time if needed.
This week is the final week of the third quarter, so teachers are mostly focused on making sure their students are up-to-date with their assignments and completing any missing work.
Classes, for now, are being held on their regular schedule, but the actual classroom expectations are being adjusted.
“Some assignments are no longer possible,” Zobitz noted. “And we will remain flexible and adjust to the situation. This is a huge learning curve that our students and teachers will be navigating together. We want to give students their regular routine and then we will go from there.”
The school is doing home deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays, dropping off food for students who have requested it, along with school materials and books.
“We’ve sent home laptops for students that need them,” said Zobitz.
Deliveries also include supplies for students who will be taking art in the fourth quarter, and woodworking materials for those who are taking shop class.
The school’s three paraprofessionals will be checking in with every student each day. They will be keeping their eyes out for students who are struggling in any way, Zobitz said, and then can work with other school staff and professionals to find solutions to problems.
This will allow teachers to concentrate on their lesson plans and teaching, Zobitz said.
“Our teacher morale is awesome,” Zobitz said. “But we know that they are going to feel overwhelmed.”
Zobitz said the school’s strategy is to keep it simple, support each other, and to make sure the students still feel connected. “We miss all of our students,” he said, “and we are concerned for our students’ health and well-being, as well as their families.”


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