Oak Ridge students succeed with synchronous learning

Live virtual lessons have gotten a good grade at one Oak Ridge School.
Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 6:33 PM EST
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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Live virtual lessons have gotten a good grade at one Oak Ridge School.

This year has been a combination of virtual and in-person teaching for traditional students at Jefferson Middle School.

School’s always been easy for Hailey Thompson, this year has been no different.

“It’s been going really good,” said Thompson, a seventh-grade student at JMS.

She spends two days a week in-person and three days a week virtual. As of a few weeks ago, it’s all live whether she’s in school or at home.

Last semester she had assignments to do on her virtual days instead of live classes, but this allows students to keep the same class schedule no matter what.

“I get to hear the other students’ feedback to the teacher’s questions and just interact with them, ask them questions even and sometimes we do group work on the computer and I think that’s really helpful,” explained Thompson.

Teachers like Callie Painter have seen it work.

Painter said, “We just have so much more of a connection with them when we get to see them every day.”

When Vice Principal Jen Laurendine along with other administrators came up with the idea, they thought it would kids thrive in their studies and in their emotions.

“We looked at all the data and said this is truly what is best for kids, not only academically but as socially emotionally and mentally as well,” said Laurendine.

“This is kind of helpful with the interactions,” said Duncan Rowden, a sixth-grader.

He’s got three brothers at home but is glad to see his friends whenever he can.

Attendance, grades and accountability are all up.

“I’m having more fun learning when I’m understanding what I’m actually learning,” said Thompson.

Students have had more access to teachers to help with school work as well.

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