Editorial: Rising to meet the challenge

Posted 8/26/20

There are many concerns about the upcoming school year.

Many.

But in Barrington, parents should feel a measure of confidence when it comes to their children's teachers. They should know that …

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Editorial: Rising to meet the challenge

Posted

There are many concerns about the upcoming school year.

Many.

But in Barrington, parents should feel a measure of confidence when it comes to their children's teachers. They should know that the educators in this district will do all they can to create a positive environment for their students, to make learning fun, and to lessen the anxiety surrounding an uncertain return to the classroom.

They need only remember to last March, when suddenly schools were closed and students and their teachers switched to distance learning. Barrington's educators created one of the most productive online learning environments around, and they did it with very little practice or time for preparation. They built schedules, and then improved them. They adjusted on the fly and worked for months to create as rewarding an experience as possible.

Was it perfect? No. But it was far better than what many students experienced around the country. Far better.

We believe that will again be the case this fall. We believe Barrington's educators, faced with one of their greatest challenges ever, will rise up and persevere.

Last week, Barrington school officials offered a preview of what schools will look like when students return to class — mask-wearing, no use of lockers, half-filled classrooms and well-spaced lunch tables. It will be different, that is for sure, but administrators were confident that the educators leading the classes in all six public schools will do all they can to make learning a positive experience.

Barrington High School social studies teacher Ben Fillo said he was not sure how to approach the new challenges this fall — teaching to half the class in-person and the other half at home online. He said he likes to move around and share energy in his classes, but that might be difficult.

"I'm going to jump in and see what works," Mr. Fillo said. "The key word is flexibility. We have to try and see what winds up happening."

Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore is confident that Mr. Fillo and his fellow teachers will rise to meet the challenge. It might take some time, and there may be some set-backs, but Mr. Messore has faith in Barrington teachers. So should we.

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.