School at home? Here’s advice from students at Denver online academy

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DENVER (KDVR) — Thousands of students across the Front Range are back in school — kind of. 
Remote learning began this week in a number of districts, including Cherry Creek, Aurora and St. Vrain Valley. 

But for some students, remote learning is already a way of life. 

Seventeen-year-old Connor Logan is a senior at Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, a completely online school.

“I started online school in the fourth grade,” he said. “It teaches you a lot of self-discipline.” 

Logan says at first, the switch to remote learning was difficult.

“When I started, it was really different because I had been doing a brick-and-mortar school, and then I rolled into this online setting. And I couldn’t focus on anything, it was impossible. But you get used to it over time, and it becomes more natural.” 

He has three main tips for students and parents:

  1. Establish a specific area of the house that’s devoted to school. Eliminate TVs and other distractions
  2. Establish deadlines for yourself, even if your school is on a weekly program.
  3. Take frequent breaks and don’t be confined by the traditional hours of a school day. 

“There are times where I’ll work until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and there’s times I’ll work until 8 in the evening. It’s basically when I’ve accomplished everything I need to for the day.” 

His father Mike says parents also need to be proactive in monitoring their kids, which can be difficult for working parents. 

“They’re going to have to monitor the students initially,” he said. “Especially the younger ones, otherwise they’re going to be chatting with their friends.” 

At Jeffco Public Schools, the district has been monitoring participation by students. The district is more than a week into remote learning, after starting earlier than surrounding districts. 

“We’re taking grades, we’re taking attendance. This is learning and we’re serious about it,” said Jeffco Superintendent Jason Glass. “Our focus this week has really been making sure we’re checking who’s been attending, who’s signing in to these remote learning sessions, and who hasn’t to make sure we’re reaching every kid.”

Glass says the district distributed 500 Wifi hotspots to families without internet access, but he says the transition to online learning has produced a number of unexpected glitches. 

“Understand that you’re going to make mistakes, and have some patience with yourselves, your students and your teachers,” said Glass. “That’s the No. 1 thing, is just have some patience.” 

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