The Fairmont Area School Board Tuesday conducted its first online meeting.

Fairmont Elementary Principals Andy Traetow and Michelle Rosen detailed their efforts working with staff on implementing distance learning.

“We’ve really encouraged our teachers, with the rapid pace that information has been changing and is distributed, to really suppress the need to plan for too far out,” Traetow said. “We’ve been taking it hour by hour and day by day in our planning in preparation in the anticipated application of our distance learning plan.”

“Our staff has been phenomenal,” Rosen said. “We’re really working now on that platform to get it out to parents and staff. We’ve been taking advice from our high school colleagues and other colleagues around the state, and we’re beginning to build a platform for them so they can use devices or apps they’ve already used.

Junior-Senior High School Principal Alex Schmidt said he and Principal Jake Tietje have begun to prepare staff and students for continued distance learning.

“We started off looking at lesson plans and what it looks like on a daily basis as well as a unit,” he said. “Then we had some optional learning opportunities for staff to take a look at different e-learning tools. That’s anywhere from a learning management system in Google, to different engagement strategies.”

The high school staff recently conducted a trial run with a Zoom meeting, and teachers were able to share what they were doing in their classrooms. Schmidt said conferences over the phone went well, and noted that teachers will be looking at things such as attendance protocol and accommodation tools.

Tietje shared with the board a student HyperDoc, which will provide students with e-learning schedules as well as other links and resources. Students will have to fill out an attendance form and will be able to communicate with teachers.

Superintendent Joe Brown said he had been in contact with CHS. “I received a phone call and was asked how much we had in deficit in the food service account,” Brown said. “We had about $2,000 of students and a few staff members. They called me back two days later and said that CHS would like to donate $5,000 for our Food Service Angel Fund account to wipe out those debts and help our families.”