SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KTIV) - Facebook, Instagram, Video Calls, Snapchat… People are taking to all different forms of social media to stay in touch with friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As governors across the three Siouxland states have shut down schools to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, one middle school principal wanted to find a way to help connect with his students during the pandemic."
"One. I don't have all the answers. Two is we have to have that communication to and from the school district," said Bill McKelvey, SB-L Middle School Principal.
With the uncertainty of when school will resume due to coronavirus concerns, Bill McKelvey, principal for Sergeant Bluff-Luton wanted his middle schoolers to stay informed while staying home.
So McKelvey decided to create a Snapchat account for his kids to follow.
"Basically with Snapchat, I want to get to the middle school kids. From that, I want to be able to share information. Again, I'm still learning this so if I don't have it all right, my goal isn't to follow them all back and track everything they do," said McKelvey. "Actually, I don't really even have time to do that. So, I don't want to do that. It's just more of an opportunity for me to get out on a platform that they can access and get the information first hand from me."
Although he's new to the app, McKelvey says he's had his kids helping him learn the ropes.
He says talks of the virus can be confusing for some students.
"The big thing is to get the information out to them. Let them know that they're not alone, that we're still here. I know it's kind of a unique relationship that educators often have with their students. But we do miss them. And we want them to know we're thinking of them and we're supporting them however we can," said McKelvey.
McKelvey says he wanted to continue forming connections with his students that would normally happen during the school year.
"So, that was primarily the key was to keep the relationships out there. Let them know what we're doing. You know part of it is to like I snapped a thing with just me and my dog laying there. My daughter took a picture of it watching the TV," said McKelvey. "That's just life and it's what Snapchat's about it seems like. I wanted to let them know we're all in this together. We're doing a lot of the same things, we're staying home. If we're out, we're out with those guidelines in effect. Staying apart from each other and small groups. Doing the best we can."
McKelvey says he's had a lot of positive feedback from the community since creating the account.
You can check out the account by clicking here.