Online learning to be more structured this time around


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmediamidwest.com



Today marks the last day of in-person instruction at Delaware City Schools at least through winter break as the district moves once again to virtual instruction starting next week. School officials, however, believe the move will be much smoother than when the district went to online instruction this past spring.

The Delaware City Schools Board of Education held an emergency meeting Nov. 17 and voted to move all instruction online from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18 as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in Ohio and as staff and substitute absences increase. The district’s website reports that on Nov. 19, there were 16 confirmed active student cases and 12 staff cases within the district.

The board noted it will continue to monitor the number of cases in Ohio before making a decision on what school will look like when classes resume after winter break on Jan. 4, 2021.

Jennifer Ruhe, the district’s director of communications, said Monday the district expects the transition to virtual learning to be a better experience for all involved than it was when all schools in Ohio were moved online earlier this year.

“While we were hopeful to remain in in-person learning this year, our staff have been planning for remote learning since summer,” Ruhe said.

She added the virtual setting will resemble the hybrid model the district has been using since the start of the school year, which will be beneficial to students since they are already familiar with the district’s learning system, Canvas, and online instruction.

“Students will remain in their cohorts for learning days with their teachers and have assignments on other days,” Ruhe said. “Our middle and high school students will more closely follow their daily schedule to meet with teachers for direct instruction and lessons. At the elementary level, teachers will establish a schedule that blends online learning with hands-on activities. Our teachers will continue to focus on making connections with students each week. Students have been practicing their logins and using Canvas during the first months of school, so there is much more familiarity with our learning management system.”

Ruhe said virtual instruction will be more structured, allowing students to get more out of their lessons than early this year.

“Students will have a more defined schedule for at-home learning than they did last spring,” Ruhe said. “Because our students are more familiar with online tools, teachers will be able to provide more direct instruction to help students learn and practice new concepts during at-home learning.”

The board stated last week it would like to return to in-person education or even return to having students in class five days a week next year. Any future decisions, the board noted, will depended on the COVID-19 situation in Ohio.

For more information about the distrct’s plans, visit dcs.k12.oh.us/delawarecs.

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By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmediamidwest.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.