BACK TO SCHOOL- Virtual Reality: MMSD getting students ready to learn from home

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MCHS Assistant Principal Zane Adams and MMSD Director of Schools James "Bo" Griffin chat during the process of handing out the materials for virtual school to parents at the Performing Arts Center.

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Millington Municipal Schools District Director of Schools James “Bo” Griffin has been busier this early August than in the previous two years.

Under the umbrella of a global pandemic, Griffin has been spotted on all four campuses of the school district in a shirt, tie and mask touching bases with administration and faculty before the Aug. 10 first day of school.

“Everyone had been great doing a tremendous job getting ready,” Griffin said. “The staff, all the faculty and administration and especially our parents have been fantastic in working with us to get ready for this school year.”

Griffin spoke these words as several parents drove through the Virtual Learning line set up at the Millington Performing Arts Center across the street from the Board of Education. Three stations were set up for parents to pick up information, devices and a hotspot for their student as apart of the Millington Virtual Learning plan.

Virtual School Orientation will be by grade band and the schools will send out Microsoft Teams/Google Meet information for orientation sessions. The orientation is for parents and students to attend virtually through the district issued devices.

The invites came through email and text messages beginning Aug. 7. Each school, Millington Central High School, Millington Middle School, Millington Elementary School and E.A. Harrold Elementary School had phone lines set up for parents to contact for more information.

Parents picked up a packet of forms which included communication and the online learning parent Toolkit.

Each school will have a virtual school support system. The packet also outlined expectations for the teachers, the students and parents talking on this new challenge.

The technology team at MMSD have set up student help request, troubleshooting, online resources, video conferencing for students, Remind 101, Skyward, email and much more.

For children Pre-K to fifth grade, the program is called SeeSaw (hybrid and virtual school), Google Classroom is for students in the fourth to eighth grades (hybrid only). The high school has two models with the hybrid model called Thrivist. The virtual school only plan for high school students is called Edgenuity.

In Thrivist, MCHS teachers have the ability to integrate all synchronous and asynchronous instruction. It is expected that teachers will use Thrivist for contact delivery method during the Hybrid remote learning days. Thrivist is an Learning Management System that allows teacher s to post assignments for student to access both at school and at home. Thrivist is provisioned with classes and student by Clever. Clever is streamline service that will allow students to login into different systems and access resources as a one-stop shop.

Edgenuity is the MCHS platform for the delivery of virtual content. The content aligns to the Tennessee State Standards. The students that opt in to the MMSD all virtual option will have access to the platform.

There are videos available to watch the Edgenuity process on Youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXrznoJxvo8 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=G HPDRbV8oU

For more information at your child’s school, call MCHS at 873-8100, MMS at 873-8130, MES at 873-8433 or HES at 873-8165.