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Fairmont Area finds distance-learning hiccups

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Area School Board on Tuesday heard from Superintendent Joe Brown, who reported the first day of school went well overall, but he also noted some hiccups in regard to distance learning.

“I spent about four hours at the high school today just visiting classrooms and saying hi to the teachers and students,” he said. “Things were very well organized; the bus company did a great job getting our kids to and from school.

“We do have a number of students who are doing distance learning, and we are going to be sending out an email to the parents of those students. The thing about distance learning today, versus what it was in the spring, is it’s a lot different.

“They [students] need to check in every class hour, and they need to do all the work that everybody else is doing. We observed today that many of the students who are doing distance learning are distanced, but they’re not learning. They were not connected, so we’re going to make an effort to get them going again.

“The bottom line is the vast majority of our students were in school, and we appreciate that.”

Brown also noted he was pleased to see custodial staff in both buildings dutifully going around to clean the common areas, as was expected.

Turning to a similar matter, the board heard from student school board member Morgan Hoong, who gave a brief report about students’ reactions on returning to school.

“The first day of school was really nice,” she said. “We got to see each other for the first time in five months, and it was like we never left. It was really nice being able to see everybody, and overall everybody was doing really good on wearing their masks and social distancing.”

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