Myra Sanchez brought her daughter, fourth-grader Andrea Cruz, to the “LPS on the Go” event Monday to see how she could get her assistance with virtual school.
Sanchez said English is not her first language and she was looking for help understanding the curriculum and assignments.
“The challenging part of online learning is keeping Andrea focused,” Sanchez said. “I help her and my English is OK, but explaining things in English is difficult sometimes. But we’ve been working one-on-one with her teacher, Mrs. Hathaway, and that helps a lot.”
Lawton Public Schools hosted its first “LPS on the Go” event at Elmer Thomas Park, which is where Sanchez went seeking help. This “one stop shop” offered LPS virtual students and families the chance to enjoy the sunshine while getting tech support, supplies, curriculum resource assistance and meals to go.
“Our virtual families are virtual for a reason,” said Reagan Hall-Ousley, director of Secondary Curriculum at Lawton Public Schools. “We want to make these families feel like they’re valued too, and we want to support them in any way that we can, so we wanted to come into their neighborhoods and offer our support them and to see what else we can offer them.”
Besides being able to get out and enjoy the sunny day, parents and students were able to get support from LPS EdTech with any online learning platforms they may be struggling with, as well as help with the devices used to connect virtually to the school. ESL support was available from Second Language Learners Department for ESL support, and the homeless liaison was available for families who needed assistance as well, said Hall-Ousley.
“We have everyone out here that can help,” Hall-Ousley said. “The help that they would traditionally find in the school is here today to support our virtual learners.”
Nicole Haury brought her two children, first-grader Joziah and kindergartner Raelynn, out to see what information and support was being offered. The little ones also had the opportunity for some story time with Washington Elementary librarian Cindy Curtis and assistant librarian Becky Kelsey.
Haury said her daughter suffers from kidney failure, which meant when her son was going to traditional school every time someone in the classroom became sick, he would bring it home to her daughter.
“I really like this,” Haury said. “Both my kids are online and that’s been great. Since school started, my daughter hasn’t been sick once.”
Hall-Ousley said the school district plans on continuing these events throughout the school year and expanding the program to visit neighborhoods.
“We want to go into different neighborhoods and bring the school to the families,” Hall-Ousley said. “We started here at the park just because it was a central location, but our vision is to go across the city into our neighborhoods where our virtual families are, and just meet their needs directly that way.”