Local teachers arrive on campus for new school year, virtual or not

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. — The strangest school year in American history begins soon and teachers are heading back into the classroom.

Hundreds of teachers were back in their classrooms today, getting ready for the fast approaching school year. With most schools beginning with virtual classes, the set-up is very different.

Three Rivers School District is allowing kindergartners through 3rd grade to return to campus, with full online schooling for grades 4 – 12.

Before coronavirus, setting up for class every August was straight-forward said Jaime Szijjarto.

“A lot of it was setting up our classroom, welcoming students to come in, figuring out what our community and classroom is gonna look like,” said Szijjarto.

Monday was the first day back on campus at Three Rivers School District high schools.
So, miles away from Szijjarto, Jeromy Wright, a math teacher at North Valley High School, is going through the same process.

“Looking at rosters, students pictures, I try to start learning names and putting names to faces before they get here,” said Wright.

But, this time, neither teacher will welcome their students to class physically on the first day of the school year.
So right now, they’re focusing on setting up CANVAS, an online learning platform.

“We’re implementing a district-wide system so that parents whether they have elementary, middle or high school can go to one source for their children’s curriculum,” Wright said.

One thing hasn’t changed.
Szijjarto and Wright are thrilled to be back in the classroom, excited to see a new group of smiling faces – even if it’s virtually.

“School looks so much the same as it did 30 or even 50 years ago and the world has changed a lot, so it’s an opportunity for us to expand our horizons a bit,” said Wright.

“I’m excited to find different ways to be creative and try to engage students, however that ends up being,” added Szijjarto.

Class officially starts for Three Rivers School District the day after Labor Day, September 8th.

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