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Bus drivers in Schoolcraft, Minn, are going the extra mile by learning how to use technology that will help them assist students with their schoolwork and social-emotional needs arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Schoolcraft Community Schools transportation department has trained eight school bus drivers on the video conferencing platform Zoom and online learning web service Google Classroom. The drivers will act as coaches for the district’s most vulnerable students, but they won’t only be helping them with homework. The week-long training also covered the best ways to communicate with students about their social-emotional needs, said Dr. Rusty Stitt, the district’s superintendent.
“We were tasked by our governor to come up with a plan to reinvent education from afar. What better way to aid this new way of teaching and learning than by putting additional supports in [place] to help our staff, and most importantly, our students?” Stitt said.
The district’s administrative team came up with the coaching idea based on feedback from support staff, he added.
Marc Fox, the district’s transportation director, told SBF that he is proud of how the transportation department’s drivers jumped in to help in any way they could during the pandemic, which changed lives so quickly.