HMS students will be required to turn on cameras starting Monday (Highlands MS KSD.org)

Nothing was posted as of Friday at the Kennewick School DIstrict website, but the Principal at one middle school is extended a new requirement for students for distance learning.

Lori McCord, the leader for Highlands Middle School, has informed parents-students that starting Monday December 7th, it will be a requirement for students to have their cameras turned on during their distance learning.

A teacher can tell if a student is present or online, as their name appears in a square button across the page.  It looks like a 'grid' made up of zoom meeting -like video screens. A student whose camera is not on merely has their name appear in their square but no picture or image.

McCord, in an email to parents, students and staff, said the following in part:

"...Students are better engaged in learning when the teacher can interact fully with them and with each other. Along with student engagement, visual cues, body language, and seeing each other's faces are critical components of the learning process and major contributors to the culture of the overall learning environment."

   "Beginning on Monday, December 7th, all students will be required to turn their cameras on during zoom sessions, per the teacher's direction. Teachers will review their class Zoom norms with students (these are also listed in their Google Classrooms)."

The email went on to say if a student is having issues or unfamiliarity with the camera there are several resources they can reach out to.

This will be greeted by some students with a groan, as it will require them to 'attend' class in a "appropriate setting" as mandated by the District. From what we have seen a majority of the students already are doing that, but apparently enough are not that school officials are seeking to improve participation.

For what it's worth, our 7th grade daughter goes to HMS, and rarely turns hers on; she does the classes while sitting in bed.  And, she finished the first quarter with a 3.76 GPA.