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Posts tagged as “remote learning”

CPS parents protest, want more options

Parents say what is being offered as the school district switches to blended or virtual learning isn’t a fit for everyone. “We want a remote choice that is not the Cincinnati Digital Academy. We don’t feel it’s an effective choice for our kids,” said Levon Siler, a CPS parent. “Not just sending them back, but being able to get them in a remote-learning situation where they could stay with their school community,” Siler said.

At a Wednesday meeting, CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell said the administration will look at enrollment for students who report to schools during the week of Oct. 5-12 and “reallocate staff to serve as distance learning teachers.”

“Our goal has always been to safely return to in-person learning, and we are excited to welcome students back to our buildings beginning next week,” said Superintendent Laura Mitchell in a statement. “As a district of 36,000 students and buildings of various sizes and capacities, there is no one-size fits-all approach.”

Carlisle parents sending students to school due to confusion over virtual advanced-placement options

Dayton Daily News |

Some Carlisle students who expected to begin the school year studying advanced placement courses online were back in school this week, despite concerns about exposure to the coronavirus. The district utilizes Virtual Learning Academy (VLA), a service through the Jefferson County Educational Service Center.

Superintendent Vail said about 10 students were in school as a result of confusion over on-line offerings leading to some finding the “material not quite what they were expecting.”

Hamilton Schools officials acknowledge problems with virtual learning program

Journal-News |

Mike Holbrook, superintendent told the board, the problems with the contractor-supplied computer program are being addressed but in hindsight the supplier “over-promised and under delivered.”

“There was a general misunderstanding of what VLI was,” said Rick Pate, executive director of secondary programs. “Many families thought it would be what it (at home learning) was last (school) year,” after all Ohio K-12 schools were ordered closed, he said. “Some families thought it (VLI) would be an easier route,” said Pate. But, he added, the VLI program “requires a significant parent involvement” of three to four hours a day, especially for younger students.

Holbrook last week announced families enrolled in the VLI program, who were originally obligated to stay in the at-home program for the first semester, will soon be allowed to opt out under the district’s new scheduling returning to live classes for all students starting next month.

Many Arkansas Teachers Refuse In-Person Classes Amid COVID-19 Concerns

NPR |

At least 166 instructors represented by Little Rock Education Association say they are concerned about COVID-19 and only willing to teach remotely. Until the district allows for remote-only instruction or increases school safety, they say they will stay home, according to a union statement.

“Our schools are NOT safe. Someone is going to get sick and someone is going to die if we continue in the current manner,” association President Teresa Knapp Gordon said in a statement. “This is not a strike,” Gordon continued. “We are completely and totally willing to work and serve our students virtually in a manner that keeps everyone safe and alive.”

The district, however, isn’t budging. Mike Poore, Little Rock School District superintendent, said in a letter that there are “no plans to close schools.” Poore also told NPR there will be disciplinary action against the no-show teachers, and they may be fired. He says the district has done an excellent job of being as safe as possible in the five weeks it has been open.

Northern Kentucky students return to class, while half their peers learn from home

WLWT and WCPO |

It appears a majority of public schools in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties are using a blended A/B model to bring students back to class, meaning students spend alternate days at their home school based on their last name.

But there are grade levels going back five days a week. It all depends on how much space a particular building has to accommodate students who want to be back in the classroom.

States invest in datacasting to bridge the K-12 digital divide

Education Dive |

The tech would allow students to receive instructional content in remote areas without internet and comes encrypted for data security. Datacasting, or data broadcasting, has been used for years in the public safety sector, helping first responders prepare for natural disasters, search and rescue missions and school safety operations. Now, the concept is being repurposed to provide rural students who don’t have reliable access to the internet with remote learning opportunities.

(more…)

Months into the pandemic, digital divide still leaves poor kids at a disadvantage

Ohio Capital Journal |

Members of the U.S. Senate are pushing for $4 billion in the next coronavirus relief package to help students in rural and low-income areas gain access to high speed internet.

Senate Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last week urging the agency to allow broadband connection into students’ homes by expanding the E-Rate Program, which helps schools and libraries connect to the internet. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) argued that the FCC has the ability to expand the program without permission from Congress. “The consequences are dire,” Van Hollen told Maryland Matters. “I urge the FCC to use their existing authorities to expand internet accessibility, and I will continue to push my Republican colleagues to provide desperately needed funds for these efforts.”

Data from Common Sense Media, a non-profit that conducts media research, has shown that the number of kids lacking access is as high as 16 million. Studies have shown that Black, Latino and low-income students are disproportionately affected. About 15 percent of households with school-aged kids don’t have access to high speed internet at home, according to a Pew Research study that analyzed the 2015 U.S. Census data.

Local teachers take virtual learning to the next level

WLWT |

Over at Evanston Academy, Principal Stacey Hill-Simmons and her teachers have primarily used the internet to connect with their students these past five weeks, but for a special group of students, they host a drive-by every Friday to have that personal connection with their students who have Autism. 

For Montfort Heights Elementary Principal Kaitlyn Randall and her staff, inclusion and making their students feel connected no matter where they’re learning is priority for her team.

“We had one teacher who wore a crazy hat for lunch coverage in the building one day and she hopped on a Zoom meeting right after, and now our students are hoping on everyday just to see what crazy hat she has on,” said Randall.

Read the full article at WLWT.

How Small Grants Are Empowering Parents of Underserved Students to Form Pandemic Microschools

The 74 Million |

Using a $10,000 grant from the National Parents Union, Brandice Hatcher is in the process of opening her Righteous Voice Mentoring pod. The girls under her tutelage will stay enrolled in the Madison Metropolitan School District, but with additions such as membership in the national Black Girl Book Club, encounters with strong Black women in their community and other activities to promote the development of healthy identities.

Hatcher’s is one of 37 efforts recently funded by the National Parents Union, with the goal of enabling families to create versions of the pandemic pods that have occupied headlines since schools closed in the spring. Many of those stories depicted affluent parents making arrangements to take turns overseeing distance learning in one another’s homes or hiring their own teachers, prompting concerns that the pods would exacerbate segregation or deepen the educational inequities thrown into sharp relief by school closures.

More on the National Parents Union:

‘National Parents Union’ to Challenge Political Influence of Teachers Groups – US News and World Report

National Parents Union website