Now that the school year has largely concluded for New Hampshire districts across the state, we turn our attention to what education might look like this fall.
We reflect on how remote learning went, review what we've learned, and discuss what options are available for the upcoming academic year, whether that is more remote learning, a transition back to in-person learning, or a hybrid model of both methods.
Air date: Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
- Elizabeth Darlington - learning specialist at Frances C Richmond Middle School.
- Scott Laliberte - Superintendent of Londonderry School District.
- Dean Cascadden - Superintendent of SAU67.
- Meg Cleary - Chemistry teacher at Hollis-Brookline High School.
This show was produced by fellow Jane Vaughan.
When asked this morning on The Exchange to grade his distrct on how the past few months of remote learning have gone, Londonderry Superintendent Scott Laliberte said he would "separate out our performance from our effort."
"I would give a solid B for performance," he said. "We had a lot of people work very hard under a short timeframe. And I think given those conditions, I think we did pretty well. We recognize there are a lot of ways in which we can improve. As an effort, it's got to be an A for effort. I mean, our parents, our students, and our teachers just worked so hard to make this work and really maximize the resources and opportunities that they had."
Elizabeth Darlington, learning specialist at Richmond Middle School in Hanover, reflected that there "were certainly kids who struggled" with remote learning.
"The isolation piece was really hard. Middle schoolers are hard wired to want to be social," she said. "So we as a sixth grade team made sure that we were keeping in touch and in contact with every single one of our students every single day. ... It was a big push in our district and within our school to emphasize contact over content."
Chemistry teacher Megan Cleary, from Hollis-Brookline High School, added that some subjects are very difficult to teach remotely.
Trying to teach chemistry online, she said, "was awful."
"Chemistry is not designed to be learned over the Internet," she said. "The labs are really hard and complex in school and so modifying them for home use is not very simple. And so I feel like a lot of the major concepts that go along with the lab were missed out on because we weren't able to talk about the lab together while they were performing it."
Looking ahead, Bow Superintendent Dean Cascadden hopes that students will be able to learn in schools in the fall in order to address issues of inequity.
"I'm pushing to get students into our building as much as possible," he said. "I pushed to have our extended school year program as much face-to-face as possible. Took a little flak for that. It's like, you know, how can you bring kids in? What are you going to do for masks? We need to get these students into the schools because that's where I believe they're best served."