MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho — Since schools went to online only we have been highlighting Innovative Educators going above and beyond when it comes to online learning.
This week we head to Mountain Home. The entire district was nominated several times for its speedy response going online and the positive attitude teachers have shown.
"We're going to get through this," said Kristina Elliott, who teaches third grade at West Elementary School in Mountain Home.
Elliott told us over FaceTime that she's staying strong just like the other educators in Mountain Home. She says it's so important right now.
"I think the biggest thing Mountain Home has done is not just focus on education, but the whole student," explained Elliott. "Everyone has just come together to support each other."
She says before the school district cancelled in-person classes because of COVID-19 there was already a plan in place to teach online.
"Our school district was already talking about things, our superintendent was putting things in place, so if it hit Mountain Home we knew what to do."
Elliott says that's why they didn't skip a beat when the decision was made to go online only.
"Everyone just kind of came together, our community, teachers, parents, within that next week Chromebooks were handed out and everyone was collaborating and coming together to be successful for our students," Elliott said.
She credits much of the speedy response to Jamie Vick, who's the Mountain Home School District Technology Integration Specialist.
We also talked with Vick over FaceTime and she says the key was already establishing professional development for teachers online.
"That was really one of the strengths of our district is we already had plans for online PD and so now I deliver all of our online PD and teach teachers how to use different programs they can implement in their online learning and that's really powerful," explained Vick.
She says she has seen it from the administrative and parent side of things.
"I have four kids so I have seen my own kids interacting with their teachers and classmates, it's amazing, it's different, but the attitude is just so positive and that's inspiring," she said.
She believes jumping into online learning quickly was important.
"They're doing it, and they're doing amazing things with a can-do attitude," Vick said. "While it's not what any of us wanted we're making the best of it and that's really great."
Elliott, who is a Mountain Home native, says she wouldn't expect anything less from her hometown.
"Our town motto is 'one town, one team,' and it has just shown throughout this whole process it's so true," Elliott said.
If you would like to nominate an Innovative Educator send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch more 'Innovative Educators':
See every episode in our YouTube playlist: