The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that means educators across the globe are still finding inventive and innovative ways to support and teach students in classrooms, during hybrid instruction, and in virtual settings.
Never before have educators been challenged and tested as they were, beginning in March 2020 and up until today, and never before has their resilience been more apparent. Administrators, technology leaders, classroom teachers, and educators in all roles have persevered as they taught each and every one of their students during a global pandemic.
Here, eSchool News highlights the Clint Independent School District in Texas–one of its K-12 Hero Awards finalists. Keep reading to discover how this district keeps learning going in the middle of a global pandemic.
Nominee: Clint ISD
Nominated by: FrontRow
What makes this nominee a hero?
About a year before the pandemic hit, Clint ISD, under the guidance of Superintendent Dr. Juan Martinez, was updating the technology on all its campuses. In the wake of a mass shooting off campus that left Clint ISD student Javier Amir Rodriguez dead, safety of the students was among the primary concerns. Opting to use FrontRow’s campus communication platform, Conductor™, along with ezRoom classroom communication systems, as well as cameras in each classroom for safety and professional development, the district revolutionized how it communicates. By the time the project was finished, the pandemic hit, and Clint ISD quickly realized that the systems set up to improve communication and learning on campus were the perfect solution for students’ remote learning via Zoom.
Dr. Martinez and staff had already done much of the groundwork to lessen the impact of the pandemic–without realizing it. Their work to improve access to high-speed internet in the community paved the way for online learning. In-class cameras became online teaching aides and educators were able to utilize their classroom audio systems to improve intelligibility online.
Ultimately, students were able to experience a similar level of social and emotional learning online as they did in class, thanks to Clint ISD’s ability to quickly pivot its pedagogy via the flexibility of its classroom and campus communication system. As students began to return to the classroom under a hybrid synchronous learning model, new hurdles popped up, such as the need to practice social distancing in the classroom. With even sound coverage, the additional distance between educator and students was easily overcome. Classroom audio systems rose to the challenge. Teachers were able to manage their in-person and online students while moving about the room without fear of students missing information or instruction
. Clint ISD is a case study in effective emergency planning and management. Thanks to the dedicated staff, and a focus on student safety and learning, the schools in the district are more prepared for the types of unpredictable and unprecedented challenges faced by schools over the past couple of years.