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Parent’s Playbook: Triton School Corporation superintendent discusses options

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:41 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -

Triton School District starts classes Aug. 5.

Our Tricia Sloma spoke with Superintendent Jeremy Riffle to learn more about their plans to do so safely.

Tricia Sloma: Registration is underway for kids in the Triton school district and superintendent, Jeremy Riffle joins me now for Parent’s Playbook. Good to see you.

Mr. Riffle: Thanks for having me Tricia.

This has been such an unusual start to the school year and I know you get started next week so describe the two options that are available for families.

So our two options are first on site which obviously we believe the most in just simply because of the relationship piece with our students and staff, but the other option will be a digital option. That will be we’re considering a-synchronous, so that will be live recorded in the classroom and then actually posted the day following.

Will students be able to shift to the other option? If it’s not working for them?

Absolutely, we, we put that out there as a quarterly renewal, so to speak, but if a parent comes to us. I think we would absolutely welcome the opportunity to serve them in the classroom as we’re used to. And so, yes, they will be able to have that conversation with administrative staff and I’ll try to be as accommodating as possible.

There’s been a climb in COVID-19 cases in Marshall county and that is a concern for health officials in the state of Indiana, how does this change the position of some families? I understand this may have an impact on in-class, in-person instruction plans.

It definitely has an impact and I will tell you that, quite frankly, most of the conversations I’ve had with parents have been more about not wanting to wear a mask than it actually has been about catching a virus or a disease. But I will tell you the Marshall County Health Department has been outstanding we’ve met with them. Just about every Thursday for the last 10 weeks and they have kept us up to date on kind of the trends that they’re seeing things that we need to be careful about and or watch for. But they’ve been very helpful in the process.

When the shutdown happened back in March, were you able to shift easily to digital learning?

I tell you what, if I said yes to that I would, I would not be telling the entire truth our staff was amazing. But I will tell you the triton school We held dear to the fact is we felt like the best instruction that we could give a student was in the classroom. We had not done elearning days, simply because we said that we didn’t want to continue to be relying on sending computers home and doing a lot of that so we were probably not as prepared in that area just because of a philosophy, as most people but I will tell you our staff stepped up in a big way. They did a wonderful job, there were definitely things that we learned and things that we need to get better at moving forward but I will tell you that that was not an easy shift well.

And and this is not going to necessarily be easy again as we head into this new school year. What specific improvements have you made to online learning?

Actually, today, Tricia, our staff is going through a two day training on some new Chromebooks that they just received, they’re going to be able to utilize those to not only video record themselves but annotate over the screen for our students and very quickly be able to upload that to them after they’ve given that day’s worth of instruction. So we are hopeful that that is a lot better process and essentially the kid will be sitting in our classroom, listening to their teacher, and hopefully be able to communicate a lot more effectively wiith these new devices and with our new training.

Well, Mr. Riffle, we thank you for your time this morning we know this is a busy time -school is going to start in another week or so. So we wish you the absolute best.

Thank you so much for your guys’ support and thanks for your time.

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