Schools across the nation have turned to e-learning solutions to continue providing education to students quarantined at home. Whether it be through online classrooms in Zoom or digital homework assignments, educators have had to look past the norms of the physical classroom and continue to work. Around the lake, Superintendents have chimed in on how e-learning has been going for their district.

Schools across the nation have turned to e-learning solutions to continue providing education to students quarantined at home. Whether it be through online classrooms in Zoom or digital homework assignments, educators have had to look past the norms of the physical classroom and continue to work. Around the lake, Superintendents have chimed in on how e-learning has been going for their district.

School of the Osage Superintendent Laura Nelson says that the school district felt prepared for this crisis. She says the board of education has heavily invested in digital tools to stay connected for years now and have participated with staff in professionally developing the integration of technology into daily learning.

“We are now witnessing how beneficial it was that so many teachers and students were already able to collaborate using google hangout and our Canvas Learning Management System before COVID19,” Nelson said. ”...if online instruction is a boat, Osage has been building it quietly for years- and now we find ourselves floating in a flood few of us saw coming.”

Nelson says the situation that the county is facing has pushed the district to look past barriers and challenges of connection. She says that the district has done well to create a “Of course we will find a way!” mentality and less of a “We can’t” viewpoint.

Of course, this isn’t without adding that the situation has added a great deal of stress for everyone involved. Nelson feels that the situation has forced staff to be out of step with their professional identities. On top of this, she worries about food scarcity and finding ways to tackle the issue.

Moving forward, Nelson says that they are striving to help all students who have not been able to utilize the technology present as much as others. Students in grades 3-12 have each been assigned personal iPads equipped with the Canvas Learning Management System, Google Suit, Apple Apps, and other district learning platforms. With the onset of school closure, parents and guardians of younger students (k-5) were able to pick the device up and take it home.

Even so, some students run into the issue of not having an internet connect at home. Nelson says it is a priority for the district to find ways to make sure these students are not at a disadvantage. School of the Osage’s final day of the school year is currently May 20, 2020. Nelson says they are seeking to offer as many options as possible for 020 summer school and are excited to welcome students back into the school buildings as they continue to have “school” in this new way.

Within the Camdenton R-III district, Superintendent Tim Hadfield says their distance learning program has gone better than expected. He says that, of course, the situation is not the same as having students in the school buildings learning in-person, but he feels the district has been able to adapt efficiently.

Hadfield says this pandemic has forced the district to learn methods to work in unusual circumstances away from the schools, better preparing them for future incidents. However, he stresses that the current learning methods can never replace having a teacher in a classroom.

“It is impossible to get the same level of interaction between our staff and our students in this situation,” Hadfield said.

Hadfield says that students without internet access have been set up with access points at Oak Ridge and at the district soccer fields. For students and parents without internet and without transportation to these areas, he says the district has mailed out learning packets as a backup method.

Since beginning this process, Hadfield says they have worked with Instructional and Curriculum Coaches to better implement at-home learning. Within the next week, he says parents and students will receive information about a new resource called “Lakers Learning at Home”. These information and resources sent out through this program will be updated weekly on Sundays at 1:00 p.m.

Currently, he says the district does not have a plan in place for summer classes.

“Since we are uncertain of the duration of the need for social distancing, we do not know if or when we would be able to return to a traditional setting,” Hadfield said.

In Eldon, Superintendent Matt Davis says that the entire event has been a learning process. He says that, the farther the district goes, the better they have adapted to the situation.

Like the other districts, Davis says the opportunities available to keep learning at home are a big benefit to the district, but making sure all students are actively equipped with devices has been a challenge. Elementary students were given workbooks in reading and math to continue progress through their written assignments. Students were also given login information to log onto online resources.


“Resources are always an issue for our students,” Davis said. “We try to mitigate those issues the best we can, but it is still difficult during this time.”

Davis says that the district’s teachers have done a great job reaching out to students and doing whatever necessary to help.

Looking forward, Davis says they plan to have summer school. Last year, the district had over 700 students attend summer school and Davis hopes to have an even larger summer school turn out this year. The current dates for the summer classes will be held June 1 -June 26.