Central gears up for continuous learning

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By Pam Reinig, Register Editor

With Central Schools closed through April 30 and its students hunkered down at home, reading specialist Liz Tuecke has turned to video clips to keep kindergartners and first graders from falling behind. The energetic and creative Tuecke has already posted several videos using a fence line, an office chair, and even her collection of reading glasses as props. Assisting in her productions are her husband, Joe, who uses his smart phone to film the videos, and her Central colleague Jarod Bormann, who’s done some editing.

“In the time we’ve been out of school, I’ve taped 12 videos and have plans to tape 12 more,” said Tuecke. “They’ve intentionally been kept short so students can view them for quick review and move on, or visit them over and over.”

Tuecke’s decision to create two dozen different videos is intentional: The Central reading program for its youngest learners is based on 22 lists of commonly used words. Kindergartners focus on lists 1-12 and first graders on lists 13-22. Lists 23 and 24 are bonuses.

Tuecke is not the only Central teacher involved in continuous learning efforts. All faculty members have developed detailed learning plans. When Governor Kim Reynolds extended school closings through April 30, she gave schools two options for continuous learning. The first is a voluntary option where schools can encourage students to participate, but do not require them to do so. The second is a required option where students are required to participate, attendance is taken, work is graded and credit is granted. Central went with the voluntary option.

“The Central staff has been working incredibly hard to put together a plan for extended learning through the April 30th closure,” wrote Superintendent Nick Trenkamp in an open letter to members of the Central community. “We are also exploring ways to get students the materials they need while following social distancing guidance.  This includes iPads for all of our elementary students.  I am working on a plan that will have our bus drivers run their routes and deliver student materials.  We will also have a set of hours where parents can drive up to the school and we will deliver students materials.”

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