Raleigh County schools’ technology department prepares for 2020-2021 school year

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The technology department within the Raleigh County Board of Education has been solidifying its programs for students to use this fall.

When the 2019-2020 school year was interrupted last March, the department began professional development for technology integration. Coming into the 2020-2021 school year, 869 people have already been instructed through 159 sessions.

“We did the training starting last March,” said Director of Technology Rachel Pauley. “A lot of our teachers have already got that experience and have been able to start working on their stuff for this summer. The big piece is that, throughout this upcoming year, we’ve got to provide support.”

There are two programs that will be used to integrate students with virtual learning. Students will be assigned a program depending on their grade level.

“I’ve been working more on ‘Seasaw’ for the younger students,” said Technology Integration Specialist Audrey Williams. “It’s for kids Pre-K through second grade. It’s what they’re going to be using to get all of their assignments at home. Their workflow is they’ll learn things in the classroom, and then they’ll do independent review with the ‘Seasaw’ templates we’ve been creating.”

No one will be able to predict what the upcoming school year will entail. The technology department acknowledges this, which is why it has been working for several months to set up the safest integration possible.

“We’re all feeling a little bit anxious and nervous because things are not the traditional way,” Pauley said. “We’re getting used to the new norm. As we get used to the new norm, we’re all anxious and nervous and trying to get used to the way things are going to be for the upcoming year.”

There will be an official professional development week from August 24 – September 1 for teachers to master the online curriculum.