‘We’re eager to get started’: Spokane Public Schools superintendent prepares for first day of virtual learning

SPOKANE, Wash. — Thousands of students at Spokane Public Schools logged on for their first day of distance learning Monday morning. Many were greeted by familiar faces, but this time, through a screen.

SPS Superintendent Dr. Adam Swinyard told 4 News Now’s Derek Deis this year he understands this will be a big transition for everyone.

“We know this is a big shift for everyone. We have re-envisioned how we do school in a very short period of time,” Swinyard said.

In all of the mixed emotions, Swinyard said it’s mostly excitement.

“We’re eager to get started,” Swinyard said. “Our staff has spent a countless number of hours planning and preparing and participating in training for this moment.”

Most school districts in the Greater Spokane area made the same choice as SPS, opting for full-time remote learning. Other districts in the Idaho Panhandle are bringing students back part-time.

“It’s not the start we had hoped for. We would desperately love for our kids to be in our buildings, but we know based on the guidance of our public health officials, we’re going to make the very best of the distance learning model.”

As Swinyard looks ahead, he’s confident families will be successful in navigating these changes.

“[Our families] had the opportunity to come and sit down with their teachers, talk about the digital platform and had an opportunity to get some practice in. We know that there will be questions and there will be some flexibility as we move along. But our teachers are just so excited to see kids and we know that our students are eager to learn and eager to have some connection with each other.”

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