How one North Country school district is making the switch to remote learning

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With New York schools closed until at least April and Vermont schools closed for the rest of the year, many students and teachers are switching to remote learning.

At Beekmantown Central School District they are taking remote learning to a whole other level. They are using technology to be creative and connect in ways they haven’t before.

The district even made a parody to Taylor Swifts hit song, You Need to Calm Down. The video features teachers and kids from the elementary school. They called the parody, You Need to Stay Home.

The song was created by third grade teacher Ashley Kollar. She created the song to lighten things up and remind everyone to stay home during this serious time.

“I felt like I wanted to be with our kids, and I wanted to give them a chance to smile and how better a chance to get them to smile then to make this really funny song,” said Kollar.

The district is using Facebook to share topics they are doing in special area classes including art, music, and physical education.

“I’ve seen some of the posts that neighbors are realizing, oh I didn’t realize you live so close to me you’re just across the street from me and I didn’t know you before. So, I feel like it’s really bringing our school together in a way we haven’t before,” said P.E teacher Anne Winterkorn.

Krystal Benware has three kids in the district. Her daughter started a digital dance off challenge that quickly spread throughout the district.

“I was seeing how good they could dance,” said Colby who is a Kindergartener in the district.

 Benware said the dance challenge has connected students and teachers on a deeper level.

“I think that just seeing them on a personal level has kind of forced the personality of it and has forced the closeness of it,” said Benware.  

While many see staying at home as a negative, Beekmantown Central School District says they are focusing on the positives.

“It’s bringing a unity that we haven’t seen,” said Winterkorn,

“We’ve been given the gift of time,” said Kollar. So, now if the kids want to learn to play guitar there’s YouTube tutorials for that everywhere… and these special projects teachers are linking this stuff. So really it’s an opportunity”

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