Tecumseh school district recovers from winter storm

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

During the winter storm, students across the county and state attended school virtually or had snow days, including Tecumseh Public School students.

According to Assistant Superintendent Robert Kinsey, the extreme weather caused various changes to the district.

He explained students were out of school Monday, Feb. 15 for Presidents Day and had a total of seven virtual days out of the last nine school days over that two-week period.

Kinsey said much like other districts, Tecumseh had water pipes burst in two of their sites last week.

"Our maintenance crews did an outstanding job of cleaning up the resulting mess at both locations, and no major damage was caused at either site," Kinsey said.

In addition, he said the district is grateful to to the City of Tecumseh for their help in clearing school site parking lots.

"As the temperature increases, the snow removal assistance that the city's crew provided will help our students, parents and teachers be able to access our sites much more quickly and safely once we are able to return to in-person learning," Kinsey said.

While the district was able to implement virtual learning during the storm, Kinsey said there were both positive and negative aspects to the learning model.

"On the one hand, with the connectivity and power issues that many in our community have experienced because of the weather, it is has made it difficult for some students to log in each day to complete assignments," Kinsey said.

In addition, the administrator said the district asked students to do their best from home.

"For those who struggled to log in, our teachers will provide extra time as needed," Kinsey said.

However, Kinsey explained in addition to the challenges, there were pros to being able to educate students as much as possible during the historic winter storm.

"On the positive side of things, our teachers were able to continue to communicate daily with their students so that the school calendar did not have to be interrupted even though we were not able to meet in-person," Kinsey said.

To keep students engaged, the administrator said educators reviewed concepts already taught, went deeper in the curriculum and utilized what was happening in the world.

"Some teachers used the weather as well as current events like the successful landing of the Mars Perseverance rover to keep students learning and moving forward," Kinsey said.

The district is thankful for its teachers, Kinsey said, and appreciates their efforts to continue educating their students.

"We appreciate the extra effort that our teachers put into their online lessons over the past two weeks, and we want to thank our students and parents for moving into that virtual learning mode so quickly," Kinsey said. "We very much look forward to returning to in-person learning at some point in the near future."

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