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Teachers give students virtual experience after trip to Washington D.C. canceled

Posted at 3:09 AM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 18:17:49-05

BELMONT, Mich. — It was supposed to be a class trip to the nation's capitol this week before they move on to high school. But thanks to the innovative thinking of their teachers, students still get to go on that trip virtually.

Online learning is nothing new during this pandemic but teachers at Chandler Woods Charter Academy in Belmont took it a step further.

"The kiddos typically leave for Washington DC this week and we go through the whole week we get on the bus and we go through the whole weekend, we come back, and we just felt as a team that the kids needed something," said teacher Kristin Downs.

So the learning staff created their own online class field trip to the nation's capitol, leaving no detail to chance.

"We started the trip last night at 6 p.m. when the kids boarded the bus and we had entertainment from different teachers," Downs explained. "The principal put on a magic show and actually did like a live concert and we traveled. I did lights out at midnight and we watched a movie and so then this morning, we woke up to a coffee talk and then we started our tours."

There was a slight learning curve as teachers worked out the details to bring students a real-life experience.

"Google meeting and all that stuff like the rest of us are very new to it but it has opened our eyes to things we can do in the future," she said.

While nothing replaces physically being in D.C., students are still actively participating by giving presentations on every site they visit.

"They'll use video, they'll use slides, and they'll use that images to show us as though we're entering into Arlington Cemetery, they'll take us to the changing of the guard, they'll take us to the Arlington house, they'll take us to JFK his eternal flame."

This trip, showing just hard teachers are working to let their students know how much they really mean to them.

"When we first let them know that the trip was canceled. it was one of the hardest things that I've seen kids go through, it's just like you feel helpless, like there's nothing you can do for them and they look forward to this trip so much," Downs said.

"But you know, I feel like with this whole pandemic you take each day, and you think of the positives."