Ebony Dames, a Kindergarten and art teacher at SLAM Academy of Atlanta, worked hard to make sure students attending school face-to-face and those learning virtually were getting a similar classroom experience. Since September, the state charter school where Dames works has operated in a hybrid learning model with half of its students attending on Mondays and Wednesdays and the other half learning in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To keep students engaged, Dames placed a camera directly in front of her SMART Board so students attending at home could get a direct view. At the same time, she made sure not to block the classroom so students in person could see their classmates online. Dames partnered with parents by providing frequent communication in short videos, emails and an online platform the school uses.
Dames says administrators and board members listened to teachers at the school to make sure they felt safe and heard. SLAM Academy of Atlanta provided desk shields, stickers on the floor for social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer for every classroom and air purifiers. Dames said the safety measures the school put in place allowed her to do her job effectively during a difficult time.