A new school year begins with new ways of learning

Rebecca Bell’s avatar welcomes students to her fourth grade classroom at Lancaster Middle School. Lancaster students returned to school on Monday. More back-to-school stories appear on the school pages.

 by Jackie Nunnery

KILMARNOCK—The first day of school is always filled with a lot of anticipation and a little bit of anxiety for teachers and students. This year, it is especially true.

Coming back from such a long break—roughly five months since regular, graded instruction has occurred—is challenging enough, but schools and families are attempting to do this in a completely new and unfamiliar way.

In Lancaster:

Lancaster students logged into their Canvas classrooms for the first time on Monday, August 24. Overall, superintendent Dan Russell was pleased with how the day went, with “roughly 80-90% of students and families logging in.” The district is continuing its efforts to reach out to families and is collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck and the Northern Neck Family YMCA to find multiple ways for families to connect.

While the course work is asynchronous, meaning pre-recorded lessons that students access at a time of their own choosing, there are still daily expectations. Students still need to attend or log in every day, Monday through Thursday, and complete that day’s assignments. Fridays would provide an opportunity for teachers to reach out to students to check on progress…

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