KCA gives tips for online learning
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GARDEN CITY — The Kansas Connections Academy is an online school that partners with Unified School District 218 Elkhart but serves the entire state.
Mandi Adams-Brazill, school leader, said the purpose of the school was to serve students who had unique learning needs.
“We have a wide-range of students who just have unique learning needs and not sitting in the structured, classroom environment every single day doesn't work for them,” she said.
When it opened 10 years ago and they started with around 80 students. Now, they have about 800.
With in-person schooling in Kansas closed for the remainder of the school year, Adams-Brazill offered some tips to teachers, parents and students for successful continuous learning for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
Staying in constant contact with students and building relationships between students and their family and teachers is key, Adams-Brazill said.
“Building those relationship can seem daunting at first, but really, if you’re utilizing email and a learning platform, text messaging, phone calls, you can find what works as a teacher, what works as a family,” she said.
All parties involved also need to create a sense of calm, Adams-Brazill said.
“If you're a teacher, really promote positivity and that reminding families and students that you're in this together and that you've got it,” she said. “Address mental and physical health first and then academics second. That will set up an environment for academic success to be able to happen.”
Having a schedule is also important, Adams-Brazill said.
For teachers a schedule allows form them to connect and to create a structure for the day so they can tackle everything from from lesson planning to feedback.
In addition to a structured schedule, Adams-Brazill recommends creating dedicated work spaces.
“It doesn't have to be something fancy,” she said. “It can be as simple as a corner of the table, but somewhere where they can have all their learning materials accessible and that they kind of feel like 'this is where I need to sit down and focus in.'”