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Teachers bridge the gap in distance learning

The staff of Pierce Unified School District took their show on the road on March 31 to stay connected to students ordered to stay home from school.

Staff waved from their vehicles as they paraded down the residential neighborhoods where students waited to wave back from the driveways of their homes, where they have been ordered to stay during an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“With distance learning, it not easy to connect,” said Laura Hansen, the fifth grade teacher who spearheaded the procession. “The parade is just one of the many ways we will stay connected to our students, so they know we miss and care about them.”

Over 30 vehicles followed behind the D.A.R.E. police car, honking and waving to the K-12 grade students.

According to Hansen, the parade consisted not only teachers, but of after school staff, teacher assistants, school counselors, yard duty staff, principals, and administrative staff.

“I also invited all staff because everyone makes an impact on students’ daily education life,” she said.

Hansen said that the parade was inadvertently planned only hours before the school sent out word that the school closure would be extending to May 1.

“I think connecting with students, parents, community members made the day better after hearing the sad news,” she said. “PJUSD teachers and staff miss seeing their students every day.”

The Colusa Unified School District is also planning on their own parade on Friday, led by the Colusa Fire Department. “It’s to create excitement and uplift the students,” said John McIntosh, interim CUSD superintendent. “It’s certainly uplifting to the teachers that miss their students. Schools are closed, but learning is not closed; it continues every single day. The teachers are doing a great job in developing lessons and engaging students.”

The parade will kick off at 11 AM from Colusa High School to Oak Street winding its way along Webster, Sioc, Third, Navajo, Country Club, Florimond, and Wescott streets.

Many of the county’s schools have posted videos of their teachers to social media with salutations and words of encouragement.

“The parade was amazing,” said Molly Conrado, who teaches the fourth grade at Pierce. “I miss my students so much. I felt overjoyed seeing the students and parents come out to watch the parade. My smile lasted for days.”

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