Episode 73: Ryan Baron, Superintendent During COVID-19

Ryan and I discussed some of what he is dealing with during mandatory distance learning as Superintendent/Principal of Tri-County Schools. How was the transition? What about the kids without a computer or internet? And what is being done about the kids who rely on the school meals? Plus, Ryan shares a genealogy story.

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Read the transcript of this episode.

Distance Learning

The option to take online classes has become more and more popular in recent years. Mostly, that was colleges and universities offering that option for those students that couldn’t or didn’t want to spend as much time in the classroom or auditorium. But now, in the time of COVID-19, many of the schools at all levels in much of the world have moved to distance learning, or eLearning. They’ve had almost no choice. It’s that or close completely and go with no classes until the doors of the school open again.

At Tri-County Schools based in Karlstad, MN, Superintendent/Principal Ryan Baron has been tasked to oversee and implement the distance learning, which has been extended through the end of this school year. Ryan was my best friend as kids during our time together at Browerville High School in rural Minnesota. He is in his second year in his current position with Tri-County Schools. For my “People I Know Show” podcast, he was my go to person for trying to better under what has been happening at a typical K-12 school.

In the conversation we discussed a variety of topics related to this new way of schooling. First they had to go through the transition, which involved getting internet and computers for those students that needed it. Local internet provider Wiktel generously stepped up to help those in the community that needed internet service and computers.

What people might not realize is that many families rely on these school meals so that the children get enough to eat each day. To make sure those that need the food get fed, school bus drivers are being sent out with the two meals per student that requests a meal, and driving as far as 20 miles from the school to do it.

Ryan discovered that there are some positive takeaways to the distance learning, such as the regular communication with the parents of the students.

Ryan is big into genealogy and family history and was happy to share a story of how he was able to able match records for distant family members that lived in Latvia around 170 years ago.

In the Personal Growth segment, Ryan shared how he’s learned that it is important to slow down.