Students Settle In at School; Some At-Home Tech Woes Persist

by | Sep 20, 2020

Above: Staff at Meadowbrook Farms last Tuesday, the first day of in-person learning at the school. 

Supt. Alexis Meyer Sunday said the feedback from the first week of school has been gratifying, but she acknowledged with frustration that some students were still struggling to get into their classrooms from home. 

“The kids were so happy to be in school and they said it,” she said. “Everyone wore their masks.”

Meyer said she was not aware of any COVID-19 cases among students or staff at East Greenwich’s six public schools. 

“I’m very proud and grateful to everyone who is contributing to this effort. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s incredible, really extraordinary the amount of work people are putting in,” Meyer said. Teachers in most instances are having to teach in two formats: the students in front of them in the classroom and the students following along from home. 

Regarding the technology issues, the challenge is it’s not just one issue. The district sent out a troubleshooting sheet for students and parents. You can find that sheet HERE. Meyer said the district didn’t have these problems last spring, but there wasn’t nearly as much “synchronous” learning going on last year, i.e. students from home following a class that’s taking place at school. 

“One of the engineers said to me, as big as Google is, he didn’t think Google was prepared to handle this kind of volume,” she said. The district relies heavily on Google Classroom, Google Meet and other Google offerings.

Addressing how lunch is being handled, Meyer said students were allowed to talk during lunch. 

“We do not have a no-talking requirement,” she said. 

The state guidelines do not prohibit talking during lunch and snack so East Greenwich is not prohibiting it, she said, noting the difference in the state guidelines for buses, which do say talking should be at a minimum there. 

Sports practices begin this week with competition to begin in October. Meyer said she is close to naming a new athletic director, after fielding a lot of applications for the position vacated by Chris Cobain in late July. EGHS Principal Ken Hopkins and Asst. Supt. Mike Podraza are filling the role in the interim. 

“We’re trying to have school and meet the guidelines. Everybody’s working very hard and trying their best,” Meyer said. “We said there would be bumps and we did have bumps.”

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