Additional time helps RSU 18 teachers prepare

RSU 18 staff members were grateful for the addition of last Friday’s professional development day dedicated to fine-tuning online teaching strategies.

“It was clear the extra time was much needed,” said Superintendent Gartley. “Learning our online tools to make sure we are prepared for remote learning was definitely a valuable way to spend our time.” 

Time is definitely at a premium this fall. RSU 18 has been able to keep everyone safe while still taking on the rigorous schedule of 5 days a week in person, and offering a fully remote option for families who prefer to keep their children home. This hybrid model of education takes time to become skilled at.  We have high academic expectations in our district, and our staff is working tirelessly to maintain the level of education that we are all used to.  The additional tasks of cleaning between classes, traveling to other classrooms to teach, or supervising students during lunch only make it more challenging. 

“From the minute our staff steps onto school grounds in the morning to the minute they leave at the end day, they are working hard,” said Superintendent Gartley in a recent letter to parents.  To give our staff time to hone their online teaching skills and better prepare for the eventuality of switching to remote learning, the school board agreed to add two professional development days in October. 

Friday was the first of these two days and provided staff members with further training in the use of Google Meets, SeeSaw, and Google Classroom. The RSU 18 tech team created tutorial videos for all topics and tech director Adam Murray held online help sessions throughout the day. Teachers were also given time to prepare additional instructional material for students that could be taught online or in person. Next Friday, October 23rd, is the second scheduled workshop day where teachers will continue to prepare for all eventualities

Several Central Maine Schools have had to switch to fully remote for a matter of days or weeks due to COVID-19 cases. The safety precautions the district has taken and some good fortune have helped RSU 18 avoid having to take this path, but Superintendent Gartley says that he wants us to be ready to make the change as seamless as possible, should it arise.  

“If we have to go to a remote learning model, we will be ready,” said Superintendent Gartley.  “It would be all hands on deck, and I can proudly say that our staff has done an amazing job working together to take care of not only our students but our community.”

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