A-P schools adjusted with pandemic

posted on Friday, April 23, 2021 in News

With Aplington-Parkersburg's 2021 high school prom now in the rear-view, it can be hard to fathom just how different things were at this time in 2020.

A little more than one year ago, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year as mitigation against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor had closed the schools initially a month prior, in what many expected at the time to be a temporary stoppage. Even then, it resulted in a transition to online learning that middle school health & technology teacher Brenda Schipper likened to "building a parachute on the way down."

But through wise pre-pandemic purchases and a patient transition, the Aplington-Parkersburg school district was able to adjust to online learning through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, as well as provide 100 percent in-person learning thus far this year.

"I believe one of the biggest challenges for students was to realize e-learning was actually 'school,'" said Nancy Flanigan, A-P tech integrationist and computer science teacher. "Once the novelty wore off and expectations were set to start a new school year, e-learning became a reality and accepted as the 'new normal.'"

One of the bigger advantages that A-P had was 1-to-1 devices for students thanks to PPEL-supported device purchases long before COVID-19 had entered the lexicon.

"That has been the key to making all of this work," said Tamara Tingle, a third-grade teacher at Aplington Elementary. "I think we've all been thankful for those devices to already be in place."

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