When the big shutdown hit across the state several weeks ago, Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg didn’t stop. They merely shifted gears. The groundwork was already in place for on-line learning since the school was in a “one-to-one” situation.
“Each student has their own laptop that they are able to access any teacher at any time, with questions about the content that has been pushed out to students.” said Bishop Carroll Principal Lorie Ratchford. “Because our students were so familiar with submitting assignments electronically and working platforms like Microsoft Teams and Canvas, we had a little bit of a head start on everyone. We already had everything up and running.”
Bishop Carroll was one of many Catholic schools that had been looking ahead to the five days of flexible instruction days as snow make-up days.
“It was and still is a process…This wasn’t meant to be long-term for us, but our teachers, our students, families– everyone has been working hard to make sure that we’re all on the same page to continue their education. We’re not doing enrichment and review. We’re continuing as we would if we were in our brick and mortar school.”
It’s easy to hear the affection and concern that Ratchford has for the students as the staff tries to keep things as normal as possible for the kids. But her heart breaks for what they still are missing.
“When you even say it, it makes me so emotional because I’ve know a lot of these students since they’ve been in grade school. I have a daughter that is right around their age. She was fortunate to graduate last year and had a wonderful experience at Bishop Carroll. I know our students here have had a wonderful experience, I’m just sad that they have missed out on the last three months of their senior year.”