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Parent’s Playbook: Warsaw Community Schools

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -

Tricia: Our Parent's Playbook takes us to Kosciusko County where Warsaw Community School Superintendent, Dr. David Hoffert joins us now this morning. Good morning Dr. Hoffert.

Dr. Hoffert: Hi, good morning! Thanks so much for having me on this morning. We really appreciate it.

Tricia: Well, I know that you and so many other administrators through the area have such a difficult job right now and I'm going to start with this question: Is August 18 still your start date?

Dr. Hoffert: Yes, August 18 is still our start date. You know our calendar worked out we are a lake community so we we usually start a little bit later than just about everybody else because it'll be in that lake community, so August 18 was our original start date for this year, and because of that late start, we were able to keep it right on that day.

Tricia: And it gives you a chance to kind of watch what's working in other communities. Is that right?

Dr. Hoffert: It does. We've been watching very closely here really over the last month. We've been trying out some different pieces ourselves with our summer school programs and our different camps that we've been able to hold this summer. But yeah, having the little bit later start does give us an opportunity to really watch everybody, watch what works and doesn't work, and then be able to make some of those adjustments.

Tricia: Well, you mentioned summer school and I know it was quite successful. Tell me about it. Tell me a recap of what worked with your summer school. You did a lot in-person.

Dr. Hoffert: We did, we did. We were actually probably the first school in the state to open up a summer school program. Our secondary summer school opened up right at the beginning of July. We've had our virtual auction that had taken place in June, but we felt like if we were going to truly get off the ground, and see what was successful, we needed to get that in place. We did three weeks of secondary summer in person, with about 250 students at the secondary level. And then here over these last three weeks we've done our elementary summer school program and we've had over 400 students involved in that. So it's the close to the size of of our traditional elementary schools, and it's been everything from preschool all the way through sixth grade. United Way of Kosciusko County has come right behind us and help fill some of the gaps and really provide a lot of support. But it's been an incredibly successful program.

Tricia: It'll set you up for success in many ways as you get started here on August 18, so what learning options are available for day one?

Dr. Hoffert: Sure. We have actually two different options that are there. We have our in-person option, which again is very, very traditional. I guess what we can say traditional in today's world because again that there are a lot of modifications that are taking place inside of our inside of our schools, or we have our distance learning option that is in place as well. Now that distance learning option does look very different than what it did in March. We were very fortunate back in March that we've been a one to one school corporation for the last five six years. But March was a lot of out of necessity. And it was a lot of transition. We'd always used our E learning for delay and cancellation days due to weather, but being able to create something to move forward, inside of instruction, definitely had some, some road bumps in it. And I'm very proud of what our teachers did. They did just an amazing job compensating and modifying. But now over the summer as we look at those distance learning options, we've made them a lot more interactive. We've made them a lot more in the fact of closer to synchronous where, again, there's a lot more interaction taking place between the teacher and the student on a daily basis.

Tricia: Well, thank you Dr Hoffert for joining us for Parent’s Playbook.

Dr. Hoffert: Hey, thank you so much. And again, we're very excited to get this year kicked off, we know that it's going to look just a little bit different. But again we are just excited here as a Warsaw community to be able to provide great educational opportunities,

Tricia: We wish you the best.

Dr. Hoffert: Thank you.

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