First day back to school for several Kern County School districts

School Supplies
Posted at 4:39 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 19:42:55-04

Wednesday was the first day of school for several Kern County School districts. All 12 schools within the Greenfield Union School District started their distancing learning.

23abc's Bayan Wang spoke with teachers at the Granite Pointe Elementary School to find out how the first day went.

The teachers were incredibly excited, for months now they've been on the fence on whether there would be any school at all, and whether they would be doing in-person or distance learning. Distance learning is what the districts in Kern are starting off with and teachers are given the option of either teaching from home or in the classroom.

Michael Pacheco, a teacher from Granite Pointe Elementary said, "it was really exciting because getting to see the students faces again and getting to see a new group of students... first day of school is always exciting."

The first day of school was a little different for Pacheco and many other teachers at Granite Pointe Elementary school. Meeting their new students for the first time was through a computer screen.

Niccole Kipp, another teacher from Granite Pointe Elementary said, "The first day back was like being a first year teacher all over again because the experiences with the distance learning are so new to us.. that you don't really feel that competent and that comfortable yet... but it ended up being a really good day."

As teachers get used to their new virtual teaching environment, Principal Greg Adkins of Granite Pointe says school administrators are working extra hours to accommodate all the needs and questions parents have.

He said, "Those phones are ringing off the hook. It's good because our parents know they can count on us with anything they need. We're talking those phone are ringing from 7:30 to 4 we had parents coming in."

One of the main concerns surrounding distance learning is whether every child has the technology to succeed.

Adkins said his district overcame that challenge."This is the incredible part at least in our district greenfield, we literally went one-to-one..parents had the opportunity to pick up chrome books. We had a few different dates where they can come to the site and pick up the chrome books. we have hotspots for students who don't have internet access." Adkins stated.

The goal now is to maximize a student's learning, while teachers continue to learn the best ways to do that virtually.

"There is a little bit of a challenge, but we still have to stay with our fundamentals which is motivate, excite the students and teach them at their level." Adkins continued.

Principle Adkins said the district will continue distance learning until at least October 9th. At that point they are going to refer to the CDC and the California Department of Education to see if they'll have the green light to move into phase two of reopening schools. That would allow for some variation of hybrid learning.