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Berkley pleased with opening day of school

The first day of school for Lunenburg County Public School students was not spent in a classroom, behind a desk. There were few special first-day outfits, no nervous bus rides and no tearful goodbyes from Moms dropping out children at kindergarten for the first time.

This past Monday, Aug. 24, the first day of school in Lunenburg County was completed online for the first time ever. Lunenburg County School Superintendent Charles Berkley said first day of virtual learning went well, but there is still lots to do.

Charles Berkley, Jr.

“The first day went fairly smooth,” Berkley said. “We had a lot of calls come in about technology with the internet and questions about passwords and how to navigate the Wi-Fi, but everything went fairly smooth and we able to answer most all the questions. Overall, I was very pleased with it, We have a very positive attitude among our staff.”

Berkley said maintaining the momentum of virtual learning past the initial excitement and newness of the first day will be the challenge the next few weeks.

“We have to be very creative,” Berkley said. “We don’t want to overload them (students) or overwhelm them with a lot of work. We want to give them work that is relevant to the standards of learning and being able to move forward with their education, not just busy work.”

Berkley said teachers have access to resources from all over the world to make the online lessons more exciting than what may be found in a traditional classroom.

Daily food delivery and continuing to add community Wi-Fi hotspots are two things the school system is doing to help students and families cope during this time.

Berkley said two meals are being delivered each school day for students in Pre-K through 12th grade. The meals are delivered to the bus stops between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The school system has 11 to 12 places in the community where hotspots have been installed or will soon be installed. W-Fi access can be found at any Lunenburg County school including the school board office. At school locations, students should utilize the LCPS Guest Wi-FI network,. Wi-Fi is also available in the community at the following locations:

Ripberger Public Library – network is Guests 23944

Victoria Public Library – network is Guests 23974

Victoria Railroad Park (near the large pavilion) – Victoria Public Wi-Fi

Victoria Baptist Church

Kenbridge Christian Church

“We noticed yesterday that there were people at these sites. A lot of people came to the schools and got in the bus loops to download materials or actually do work,’ Berkley said.

He said the school system, teachers and staff are all learning as they go and doing their best to make an imperfect situation better.

“There will be mistakes. The first week, we will work through those mistakes and try to correct them,” Berkley said. “We are flying an airplane while we are still building it. We are going to have our ups and our downs, go around in circles and may almost crash land a couple times but we will get it going and smoothed out. The work ethic and the atmosphere among the staff is just phenomenal.”