Although Herscher School District students and staff are on spring break this week, they had the opportunity to get a taste of e-learning last week, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused schools around the nation to close.

The Pilot asked several educators to contribute their thoughts on the first week of e-learning.

 From their responses, it is evident that educators and students alike have stepped up to the challenges of this unprecedented interruption in the school year.

Craig Bisallon, Herscher Intermediate - 4th Grade

The current times are great opportunities to connect with family in ways

that aren’t always allowed with our busy and hectic schedules. Family game nights, cleaning parties, and family dinners are just a few activities that can be done during this time. 

As a teacher, I’d just like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding, and support as we work through these unprecedented times together. 

As always, the goal is just for everyone to do their best and stay safe! We need to

remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s ok to let your child watch a movie, take time to play, or put a puzzle together. 

During this time, distance learning is just a piece of the puzzle, not the only thing to focus on. Parents that are nervous need to remember that they were their child’s first teacher and that has never stopped being true. 

Teriann Brown – Herscher Intermediate – 3rd Grade

As an educational community, we are really trying to stay connected to our students. Parents have been very supportive, and the students are following through with their alternative learning opportunities like rock stars!

Brad Elliot, Herscher High Principal

I am blown away at how smoothly this e-learning transition has gone. I have

communicated with many families and staff members over the course of the last two days, and they all agree! The level of professionalism, the time commitment, and flexibility have been off the charts!  

I'm not surprised at the incredible efforts of our staff; including teachers, custodians, maintenance, secretaries, food service, and bus drivers. Everyone had to be so flexible, and come together! Of course, the adults and students of the District and community did just that! This situation stinks for everyone, but I can't be convinced that there is a better District to be a part of.

Nearly 80% attendance at HHS, even after the State said that grading was not allowed, and all work could only be considered enrichment. That shows how committed our students and parents are.

Joel Huizenga, Herscher Intermediate – 2nd Grade

I will say that from a teacher’s point of view, my students are doing great! They are really trying to do the things we have sent and are asking questions and letting us help them as much as we can. As I talk with my colleagues that seems to be consistent.

As a parent, my kids are a bit older and therefore independent, but they seem understand how important it is to stay engaged and sharp.   

Carmin Joffe, Limestone Junior High - Science

Though we have had to iron out some kinks, e-learning has been successful for the 7th grade class at Limestone Middle School. Over the past couple days we have had 96% of our students involved.

In 7th grade we emphasize more independent learning, through the year we have answered questions less and guiding them to the answers more. I think that has been a valuable tool for them as they jumped head first into e-learning.

As a mother, it has been a great time to add culinary arts, agriculture, sewing, domestic studies, and epidemiology to their school curriculum.

Kathy Schmidt, Herscher High - English

I’m extremely proud of the dedication and maturity my students have shown, overall. Many are taking advantage of the opportunities they are being given to continue their education during this challenging time. It’s gratifying to see students recognizing that learning is its own reward. That makes all of the hard work worth it.

Kristin Siebring, Limestone Junior High - Math

I think this first week has been a learning experience for students, teachers, and parents as we all try to figure out how to make e-learning work.  We had very little time to prepare for this.  We are are all trying our best to make the most of a difficult situation.  Most of the students are doing a great job!