(BEAUMONT, Texas) — An elementary school principal who had to quickly pivot her school to remote learning amid the novel coronavirus pandemic has implemented an array of tools for students, parents and teachers. She’s even created an encouraging acronym out of the word “CORONA.”
Belinda George, the principal at Homer Drive Elementary school in Beaumont, Texas, told ABC News she worked with the Beaumont Independent School District to customize a plan of action for their school.
George said the school district partnered with T-Mobile to deliver a Wi-Fi hotspot device to every student.
“The district also sent out a survey so that those that need technology, they can have a better assessment of what their needs are and those who don’t have technology. The district has offered paper packets for every grade level,” George said, referring to printed handouts that lay out what the students have already learned.
Each of the teachers, who are teaching from home via the remote conferencing app Zoom, has one scheduled day to go to the school campus and pick up any supplies they need to teach.
George also created a “CORONA” acronym to help guide students and their families through this pandemic.
“‘C’ is to stay calm through all of this. The ‘O’ is for organize your thoughts, your thinking process. The ‘R’ is for rest. It’s important to get lots of rest during this time because it can be a daunting task,” she explained. “The other ‘O’ is organize your life. Right now, we have to rethink how we live. The ‘N’ is navigate your way through this. The ‘A’ is for accomplishment. If we do all of that, we’ll accomplish this.”
Her advice for any parents struggling to help with their children’s schoolwork is to stay in touch as much as possible and continue to communicate.
“Lean on your schools,” she said. “Relying on your school district and the resources that are put out, staying in touch with those teachers, asking for help, not being afraid to say you don’t know will be crucial during this time.”
“This is new territory for all of us,” George said, adding that the school is working hard to remind everyone that it’s about “getting through this together.”
George also organized a unique way to bring classroom participation to the socially distanced students: A car parade in which the teachers drove past the students’ homes.
“We did a parade through the neighborhood,” she said, “so it was nice seeing all of the kids.”
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