FORT KNOX, Ky. — Teachers at Fort Knox Community Schools are lauding students’ parents for partnering in the education of their children.Due to COVID-19-related social restrictions, students finished their school year at home, working through technology to communicate with their teachers, take course work, and get their assignments and turn in their work.In most cases, parents were pivotal in the process, said Deborah Ratchford, reading support specialist for Fort Knox Community Schools.“This wasn’t easy. It was uncharted territory for all of us, and it has taken a lot of grace,” Ratchford said. “But they’ve really stepped into this partnership, and through trial and error, we’ve learned to collaborate with each other. None of us knew what this would look like at first, but we adjusted and made changes as needed.“The parents were willing to make some very big changes to be part of that partnership.”Ratchford said the changes included adding the role of teacher to an already busy agenda.“This wasn’t easy for them to juggle, having to work from home and add to that another role as being their child’s classroom teacher,” she said “We appreciate the efforts they put forth. There is no way we could have done it without them.”She said FKCS sometimes had to make drastic changes in a short time.“We had to flip our classrooms in three days,” Ratchford said. “We knew there were going to be changes and that we had to learn as we went along to make adjustments.”Though the transition was admittedly difficult, Ratchford said the parents were up to the task.“It’s one thing to say that we’re all in this together,” she said, “but when we’re really in this together, you can see the difference it makes."“For some parents, it was very overwhelming when they realized all that their child was doing in school,” Ratchford said. “There were times I had to communicate to the parents, ‘I’m here to help. Let’s work through this together,’ but as time went by and the partnership began to flourish, we were able to ease some of that stress.”She said technology became both a blessing and the bane of teleschooling.“[It] was our biggest tool and sometimes the biggest barrier. Both teachers and parents had to adapt by becoming more tech savvy,” Ratchford said. “When you can’t use what you’re accustomed to, you have to find other creative ways.”Lela Richee, a second grade teacher at Van Voorhis Elementary School, said parents proved to be all in from the start.“They stepped up and did whatever needed to be done,” said Richee. “What we used to do ‘hands on’ had to become virtual with the kids, and the parents were able to do that from home.”She said the virtual classroom allowed students to pick up where they left off in the brick-and-mortar classroom but also allowed them to pick up some technological skills.“We were able to interact through technology and see each other on computer screens, but the parents had to provide the physical aspect to what we were teaching,” Richee said. “Our kids continued their classroom learning, but in some ways they received a crash course in technology, too, which is not something we would have had a chance to do.”The common goal of teaching a child built a partnership between the teachers and parents, said Richee.“More than ever before, we’ve realized that this is a partnership. Now they know more of what it takes for their kids to be successful, and that kids don’t just come to school and absorb [knowledge],” Richee said. “It takes an active role, and I think seeing what the kids have had to do really got the parents on board.”Ratchford agreed, saying the experience has been mutually beneficial.“It’s one thing to say that we’re all in this together,” she said, “but when we’re really in this together, you can see the difference it makes.“We have to work together for our children to be successful.”