Battle Ground schools Parent Academy helps families navigate kids’ virtual learning

Cassondra Smith’s office looks more like a semi-pro film studio these days, complete with a glowing ring light and heavy-duty microphone.

The Vancouver woman is an educational technology coach for Battle Ground Public Schools, a job whose pandemic purpose is evident in her title. Usually, Smith is working to help teachers navigate their classroom websites and digital assignments. In this time of virtual learning from home, she’s busier than ever.

“With distance learning it is very challenging trying to get students to access their assignments, to connect with their teachers,” Smith said. “Things are just brand new right now.”

For frazzled families, there can be no greater barrier to virtual learning than connecting to classes. It’s why Battle Ground Public Schools launched its Parent Academy program this school year, giving parents class work of their own to help them navigate virtual learning.

Smith is among those teachers spending a few

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McKinstry breaks ground on Gonzaga, UW medical education and innovation center in U-District

A group of Spokane leaders had a vision more than 30 years ago to transform what was once a desolate railyard into an innovation district where private companies, education and health care intersect to create economic opportunity.

That vision continues to come to life as the 770-acre University District is now home to six universities, Avista Development’s and McKinstry’s Catalyst Building, and two medical schools – Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and the University of Washington-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership, which is expanding health care education through a new building that broke ground Thursday via a virtual ceremony.

Seattle-based McKinstry and Gonzaga are developing the 90,000-square-foot structure at 840 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., which will house UW’s School of Medicine in Spokane and Gonzaga’s Department of Human Physiology, in addition to undergraduate courses in nursing and health sciences. The UW School of Medicine is currently in

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