Fairbanks School Board President gives update on in-person schooling

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - It’s been over 2 months since schools at all educational levels in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District have reopened, allowing students to be taught in the classroom, in addition to remote learning over the internet.

Tim Doran, president of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board of Education, provided an overview on his perspective of the current state of school operations. Doran says that teachers are adapting to this new classroom dynamic in creative ways in order to educate both student groups.

“I watched teachers take a variety of approaches to it. Sometimes it’s adjusting to how many students are in person how many are remote. How do they blend both groups of students to make sure they’re interacting?” said Doran.

It’s a priority for teachers to make both groups of students feel engaged, with class materials and with each other.

“So, yes it’s working I would say it’s not ideal. But it’s amazing what teachers are doing. Some are teaming together so that one teacher is concentrating on the remote students, the other teacher is focusing on maybe the lesson delivery and the in-person, and then they reverse,” said Doran.

While these new teaching systems take form, an outbreak of COVID-19 in the classroom or another school operated facility could prompt a subsequent school closure, requiring further adjustments for all parties involved.

“We have not had to do that in quite some time. I haven’t heard that we’ve had to do any closures. They are watching contact tracing carefully when something comes up. We now have some more mechanisms for testing staff. For assisting with students, parents have actually been quite good cause we’re dependent, if their child is sick, or someone in their family, for them to self report that. Parents have been good about doing the preventative checks on their child. If they’re not feeling well, don’t send them to school,” said Doran.

In the coming weeks we will continue to highlight the current state of Fairbanks schools and how teachers and students are adjusting to being back on campus.

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