Sunnyside moves on with distanced learning


Last updated 4/17/2020 at 11:34am

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert

Signs written by staff hang in the windows Wednesday at Sunnyside Intermediate School in Havre telling students how much they are missed while the school buildings are closed for the COVID-19 pandemic. Principal Carmen Lunak said the distanced learning techniques used by the school during the shutdown seem to be working well.

Sunnyside Intermediate School's principal said the school's distanced learning program seems to be functioning well.

"First of all, I am going to say I'm just completely impressed with our students and their parents taking this on and the classroom teachers, the special services teachers and the support staff have been amazing," Principal Carmen Lunak said. "I'm impressed and I'm amazed at the way in which we are all working together, and this isn't easy on parents, it's not easy on our students, but it's certainly not easy on the staff either.

"I want to provide some positivity. I want to provide some hope. I want to help our students maintain proficiency and I just want to appreciate the staff retooled here to do that."

She said the teachers have 100 percent contact with their students and are able to communicate.

As for communicating and assignments, she said, the teachers use Google Classroom, which was already being used prior to the remote learning program order as an introduction to what Havre Middle School and Havre High School use.

"I'm impressed with the learning curve of our students and our parents because we were introducing this, knowing that they were going to be using it in the middle school and the high school, and years to come," Lunak said.

Most of the teachers also communicate daily to the parents through Classroom Apps such as ClassTag, Remind or ClassDojo, she added.

"We are being mindful of elementary-aged students who share devices with siblings and within their homes," Lunak said.

She said the assignments go out by grade level weekly through Google Classroom as each teacher posts assignments in the core subjects and adds assignments from the certified specialists such as music, physical education, library and more.

"We are trying to be age-appropriate and clear with expectations," she said.

Sunnyside teachers are also doing online meetings with their students, she said, and, as of last week some teachers have put together math groups to help them through Google Meet or Google Hangout.

"We are trying to provide hope. We are just trying to put out some positive energy and be there for our students and their families because this is challenging," Lunak said, "It's my hope that everyone could just kind of keep the faith and keep working together."

If parents or students have any questions they can contact Lunak, certified specialists and paraprofessional staff at 395-8553 or they can contact the student's teacher directly.


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