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Maintaining Connections with Students and Families During Distance Learning

Rollings MSRollings Middle School of the Arts, (Summerville, SC). Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Rollings Middle School of the Arts (RMSA) felt the engagement of students and families in the learning process has been more important than ever before. RMSA has been vigilant in its efforts to maintain a solid connection between students and their teachers while learning from home. The school used its school website, email blasts, phone dialers, personal phone calls, and social media posts to ensure information was communicated effectively. After the first two weeks, the school determined that approximately five percent of students had not completed any work and had not been in contact with their teachers. With focused efforts, school staff succeeded in reaching every student to discuss challenges to their learning and to help rectify any barriers. In addition, the school counselors reached out to every family at least once. Counselors also arranged for on-going contact with a small group of at-risk students to support their social-emotional and mental health needs. Despite the need for isolation, RMSA has attempted to conduct “business as usual” through virtual faculty meetings, special education meetings, and parent-teacher conferences.