Teachers, staff and administrators at Delaware City Schools spent Monday in discussions, planning the next two weeks of remote learning after the schools were closed by Gov. Mike DeWine last week.
Superintendent Heidi Kegley and Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath briefed staff and teachers Monday morning with a video message in which they provided an update on the district’s plans.
On Friday, Kegley said the district planned to hold a professional development day throughout the district Monday. The original plans called for staff and teachers to meet at their respective buildings and listen to a presentation live-streamed from Willis Education Center. Staff and teachers were notified they would then come together Tuesday and Wednesday for more professional development and training about the online learning the district will be doing while the buildings remain closed.
However, Kegley said Monday the plans changed because of developments throughout the state with regard to the coronavirus. Kegley and Heath told staff they would not be meeting in person this week and would be having conversations, trainings, and discussions online.
Kegley said teachers will be preparing assignments and work for students to do while they are home.
“The amount of work will vary depending on the age of the student,” Kegley said in an email Monday. “For example, a high school student would be expected to complete approximately 4-5 hours of school work per week. Our teaching and learning team is working with staff to help facilitate the at-home learning.”
The district said Dempsey Middle School students will have a similar amount of work, and the amount of work for elementary school students will vary.
“Our goal is to ensure that each student can manage the tasks they are given each day,” said Kegley. “Our main goal is to keep students connected to teachers and others during this time away from school. Our teachers have done a fabulous job putting together lessons and are looking forward to staying in contact with their students. We know that structure and routine are important to our students. At-home learning will continue to build on the learning that has taken place this year.”
The assignments will be flexible, Kegley added, and students can complete them any time during the day. Kegley said that teachers will have virtual office hours where they can answer student questions.
Heath encouraged teachers and staff to stay flexible and keep assignments for students simple.
“We know this is probably going to be the most unique set of circumstances most of us will ever face in our professional careers,” Heath said. “We will all need to be flexible with our expectations and creative with our thinking about learning.”
The district said it is working with families who may not have adequate access to the internet during the at-home learning days.
“Families can contact their child’s school through Wednesday to request a device,” Kegley said. “We are pleased that several providers are offering free internet services to homes for a period of time. But we are also making arrangements directly with families who lack the resources to complete online work.”
Kegley said the staff’s initiative and determination in response to the closure has made her a proud superintendent.
“We are all part of the Pacer family,” Kegley said. “So many things have happened in the last week and as you look around, you will see what an outstanding group of individuals we have, who have continued to stay focused on the most important job, and that is the students we serve.”
Kegley added she’s also thankful for the community’s response.
“It comes as no surprise to me that we have experienced an outpouring of support and encouragement from our community,” Kegley said. “They are ready and willing to support us and our students in any way we need.”
More information for the district’s plans during the closure can be found on its website at https://www.dcs.k12.oh.us/domain/902.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.