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Administrator’s Corner: Thank you for making distant learning work

Administrator’s Corner by Kathy Niebuhr

Kathy Niebuhr


We continue with distance learning in Albert Lea Area Schools and we want to thank our families and students for their extraordinary efforts in engaging with their teachers in this new world of schooling. We also want to thank the community for their support of the schools, in particular, the support of 1:1 technology resources supported by our great technicians. 

To teachers, administrators and support staff, kudos to you on the planning and implementation of this new distance learning model and helping us implement it under some challenging circumstances. As our administrators have noted, our educators have exhibited a great amount of effort and dedication in their planning to meet their students’ needs through these challenging times. Many students have commented to their teachers about how excited they are to “be back in school,” see their teachers, hear from our paraeducators and see their classmates online.

We are using some resources such as Schoology, SeeSaw and iXL that have seen some slowdowns over the week. These are not local issues, but come from the national demand. Our teacher teams are looking for work-arounds when that happens and other ways to connect with their students.  

Our school-aged child care at Halverson is going well with our paraeducators and school nursing staff working with K-6 students as our essential community workers need child care so they can continue to do their work. We continue to distribute hundreds of meals each day, with our food service staff, bus drivers and paraeducators helping to get that done. Our custodial staff works to keep our schools clean, sanitized and safe for those who are still on-site.

We ask our families and students who have technology issues to email our technology support email at techsupport@alschools.org or call and leave a voicemail at our helpline at 507-379-5190. Reach out to your teachers and principals via email or phone. We know the shift of this work to the home environment has brought fun and stress. We are here to help and we know that we can do this together. It is a time to be thankful for a giving community amidst the known and unknown upon us. Thank you, Albert Lea and Freeborn County.

Kathy Niebuhr is the executive director of administrative services for Albert Lea Area Schools.