Highlands HS preparing for online learning: “It gives us a great, authentic teaching moment’

Northern Kentucky High School preparing for out-of-school learning

FORT THOMAS, Ky. (FOX19) - After Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear encouraged Kentucky school districts to stop in-person classes for two weeks in response to the coronavirus, staff members at Highlands High School are preparing for the change.

Principal Matt Bertasso says Friday will be the last day students are physically in the school building, but they will still have classes over the next two weeks.

On Monday, they will be moving to digital learning to follow the governor’s request.

Staff members will be sharing the online learning plans with students and parents on Friday. Bertasso says he will be announcing the details in a broadcast.

All of the high school students already have school laptops, which Bertasso said will make digital learning easier. They have a program called Schoology that has been in place for awhile.

Bertasso says through the program, students will have easy access to lectures, be able to submit homework and take tests — all on their computers.

Bertasso adds they know some of the high schoolers may need to babysit their younger siblings who are also out of school, so for the most part, they will be letting students log on when it’s most convenient for them.

There will be times when teachers request that students all log on at the same time, but they will be spreading that out, so that classes do not overlap.

This change to digital learning also means that extracurricular activities will be affected.

Bertasso says coaches will likely be sending players home with practice drills and workout plans to keep them going.

“It gives us a great, authentic teaching moment that we can talk to kids about what’s going on and why it’s happening and why we’re making the decisions we’re making and where we can go from there," Bertasso said. "The downside is it’s also kind of scary for teenagers and for young kids to be hearing only pieces and only parts of it and seeing their world affected so much, and so one of the biggest things for us is to create normalcy.”

Bertasso says Highlands students will not only be able to use their computers, but also their cell phones to access the digital learning.

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