POST FALLS, Idaho — When COVID-19 struck, its impact was felt everywhere — perhaps no place more than in schools, where lockdowns made in-person education impossible.
For Post Falls School District, navigating the switch to online learning was exemplary.
Through a nomination by the Northwest Council for Computer Education, Post Falls School District has been recognized as a Google for Education Partner, as reported by our partners, The Coeur d'Alene Press.
“This one was definitely a success story. We wanted to amplify that and let everyone know,” said Sally Bouvia, NCCE marketing coordinator. “Their whole administration team, their whole staff, they all rolled up their sleeves and spent a lot of time getting ready so that the parents, the students and the whole school district was able to pivot.”
The district maintained the same quality of learning throughout the pandemic that they’d experienced prior, Bouvia said. Now that students have returned to the classroom, the district is poised to carry these technological tools with them into the future.
Working with NCCE eLearning Director Dr. Michael Higley, the district’s leaders, administrators and teachers received Google training for more than 690 district staff members within a matter of weeks. Using Google Workspace for Education, nearly 6,300 students were able to continue learning and working together.
The district's commitment to supporting its teachers is one thing that sets the district apart, Higley said.
“They knew they needed to elicit the support of a professional development organization,” Higley said. “We had done a little bit of work with them prior to COVID, but we really became ongoing partners once that happened.”
The Post Falls district held six 6-week, online training sessions called Google Superstar, while simultaneously working with students.
The positive attitude the district already possessed enabled parents and students to embrace distance learning well, Higley said.
Prior to COVID, 90% of the NCCE’s training was in person. One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic was the push to train virtually, Higley said.
During the training process, teachers and staff were even more connected, sending text messages directly to facilitators, some of whom live in other states. Embracing online technology meant that connections made during training continued afterward via social media and email.
“One of the biggest reasons for success is that they didn’t try to come up with their own answers; they reached out for help," Higley said. "And then they created a plan and continued to provide support. They looked at feedback and they adjusted moving forward.”
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