Topeka teachers prepare for online classes starting Monday

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KTMJ) – Teachers in Topeka are preparing to start online classes Monday.

Topeka Public Schools USD 501 spent a week training teachers and developing an online curriculum for students. This comes after Governor Laura Kelly announced she would close public school buildings for the rest of the semester.

Kathy Foster is an English teacher for the College Prep Academy in Topeka Public Schools. She said the new online curriculum includes technology like Zoom video services and Google Classroom.

“We are in the process of receiving that type of professional development,” Foster said. “Online of course because we can’t go in the buildings either.”

Foster said many teachers were already using Google Classroom in their classrooms. However, the transition has been easier for some then others. Foster tested out the new technology with some of her students earlier this week.

“I asked them ‘what should I do differently, how should this look, what do you want that I did not do?’,” Foster said. “They were like we’re fine, we’re good, so it was me that had more of the adjustment.”

Foster will sign on and do a normal lecture for students starting on Monday, but she said it will be flexible. If a student needs to watch a sibling or can’t sign on at that time, they will have the ability to pick up the assignments later.

Foster also acknowledges that students learn differently and not all students will do well in an online format. She and other teachers across the district plan to have “office hours,” where students can get one-on-one instruction through video chat.

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