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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Riverside School District expanding virtual degree program due to COVID-19

LAKE CITY, Ark- Like many school districts, Riverside is offering an online virtual format for students this fall.

This isn’t new to the district as they announced this option last winter.

Principal Matt Ziegler says puts them ahead of the game when it comes to education during the pandemic.

“We are pretty fortunate to of already begun our R.O.C. program before the COVID outbreak so that put us in the position to kinda be prepared in advance,” says Riverside High School Principal Matt Ziegler. “We didn’t know we would need that, but we had done our homework. We looked at different ways to provide that online curriculum to our kids.”

Previously, the Riverview Online Classroom or R.O.C. was just available for seventh- twelfth- grade students.

Ziegler says they had a student already enrolled in the program for the 2019-2020 school year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are expanding the program for all grade school students.

Teachers wear a microphone and record each lesson on an iPad attached to a moving tripod.

They will then upload lessons and work onto google classroom. Ziegler says this gives students more flexibility.

“Students will be able to you know something you and I didn’t have in school,” says Ziegler. “They’ll have the flexibility to do school whenever they choose to do school that day. Colleges have been doing this for a long time and I think secondary and primary schools are catching up to that.”

Multiple parents are set to enroll their children in the online program this fall.

The school is waiting on information from the state about mandated tests.

They will give everything online that they can and have lockdown browser to prevent cheating. They can also take part in on-campus activities and mix classes.

“They can do all their other classes online,” says Ziegler. “If they want a performance type class or participate in a field trip their class is going on, they have that option.”

With Governor Hutchinson delaying the start of the school year, Ziegler says he and his staff were prepared to start teaching in person and virtually on August 13th.

He says they’ll use this extra time to make sure everything is in place for the fall.


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