Children in the Sag Harbor School District will soon get to take field trips that they likely would not have been able to go on before.
That is, virtual field trips—to places like the Smithsonian or the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The district will implement distance learning, or videoconferencing, in collaboration with the Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Educational Services, or ONC BOCES, which is part of the New York State Distance Learning Consortium.
It will cost the district about $14,500 each year to be a part of the consortium, though Ms. Graves stressed that the district will recoup some of that back in aid.
She also said this initiative will help to “broaden students’ worlds” by allowing them to have new and different opportunities. The program will further reduce travel costs since it is all virtual, and it will allow students to participate in virtual projects with other schools.
The district will be the first in the area to be a part of the consortium and implement videoconferencing.
“If I have developed a great way to do something, let me share that,” Ms. Graves said when explaining the program.
School officials said they intend to have the software, called Jabber, downloaded on the school computers by February, but there will not be a classroom dedicated to videoconferencing until next year.
“It is easier to go far on a virtual field trip than it is to put children on a bus,” Ms. Graves said.