Rochester Memorial School works to take virtual learning from good to great

May 7, 2020

ROCHESTER — Old Rocheste Regional School District Superintendent Doug White told the Rochester School Committee that the school had around 30% of the content for the year left to cover, now that the state has focused on covering new content again.

White explained to school committee members at a May 7 virtual meeting that the school is now in a third phase of improving remote learning and readying students ready for next year.

Rochester Memorial School is making sure that students cover as many standards as possible from a list that the Education Commissioner shared with educators.

White said most grades are “we’re right where we want to be” in terms of content.

District administrators realized they should commit to a few platforms and become experts at them. One tool that many teachers have been using because students and teachers are already familiar with it is Google Classroom.

For lunch, the school has two services.

One is lunch groups, which give students a chance to socialize while eating. The other is free meals for students who need them. The ORR distict has served 15,936 meals so far in its new lunch program and raised about $15,000. It is now looking for other funding.

School Committee member Anne Fernandes asked how students were reacting to online instruction.

Principal Derek Medeiros said “we’ve had very good participation and are very happy with the output we are seeing from our students. Participation is continuing to go well and is increasing.”

White said the work teachers do now to improve online learning is valuable because, “this type of instruction is not going to go away as we continue next year.”

School Committee member Tina Rood asked if administrators had considered what personal data may be collected on kids as they use online programs

Assistant Superintendent Michael Nelson said the administration had a technology meeting where it discussed that.

White and Nelson also said that they are working on a re-entry plan for when students can come back to school.