Classes Held Via Zoom

A variety of courses have moved onto the video-chatting website.


Molly McFadden

Twenty students participated in the debut of “English Lockdown” on Monday, April 6. There is also a Google Classroom page dedicated to the optional work offered.

Hana Holtz, Editor

With schools remaining closed until Friday, May 1 per Governor Kim Reynolds’ instructions, teachers at Atlantic High School have gotten creative in regards to instructing their students. While a lot of the course material distributed is optional in nature, many students are taking part.

One way educators interact with students is via Zoom video call. Zoom’s popularity has risen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with individuals using the service for both business and recreation. The company was founded in 2011. 

Some classes that have begun using the service include chemistry, band, precalculus, and calculus. Chemistry teacher Valerie Jaehrling is hosting small-group sessions with her students that wanted to take on the optional work. The students check Google Classroom for the material, and then for their day to work with Jaehrling.

Atlantic band members are using Zoom to have lessons with instructor Jarrod O’Donnell. Students can work on their concert band music, as well as scales, after signing up for a lesson time. O’Donnell has also been sending out other optional activities for the students to do. At the beginning of the break, he sent out a bingo sheet with music-related activities.

Precalculus and calculus classes moved online on Monday, March 30. As these courses are associated with Iowa Western Community College, students were given the option of whether or not to continue the course. Those who wished to stay with the curriculum now attend classes every day via Zoom. Math teacher Sheila Hayden meets with the calculus students at 9:30 a.m. and precalculus students at 10:30 a.m. Each class lasts 55 minutes. Students learn the lesson and ask questions about the assignment during these meeting times.

English teachers Allison Berryhill, Randall Simpson, Emma Bireline, and Alex Bales have come together to bring content to students who volunteer to attend their daily English Zoom call. The first English call was on Monday, April 6 and 20 students were in attendance. During their debut meeting, the group learned how to use Zoom and read “The Dog Park,” a poem selected by Berryhill. 

The agenda for this week includes creative writing with Berryhill on Tuesday, April 7, grammar practice with Simpson on Wednesday, April 8, a look into what makes a video go viral with Bales on Thursday, April 9, and book club with Bireline on Friday, April 10. The group meets at 1 p.m. Any student–freshman through senior–can join the call.

According to their website, Zoom’s vision is to “make video communications frictionless.” Users can change their background, chat with other callers, and throw up a thumbs up during meetings.