LIMA — Parents, get ready for a bumpy three weeks. Since Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the closure of all schools for the next three weeks to address coronavirus, students will have to learn outside of the classroom.
Stephanie Stevenson has a daughter in seventh grade at Delphos Jefferson and another daughter enrolled at Vantage Career Center.
She has mixed concerns about dealing with her children being out of the classroom for three weeks.
“Not with my seventh grader, but with my senior being able to graduate with all of her hours at Vantage — making sure that she still gets her certificate and is able to graduate on time,” Stevenson said.
Right now Stevenson splits time with her husband in watching the kids.
“I’ll either come in early or leave late, or he goes in later or stays, or the sister gets her,” Stevenson said.
Getting the students ready to learn will be a challenge.
“They think it’s a vacation. They think it’s just a fun time, (making) plans with the friends, but now it’s still got to stay on track and go to the next grade hopefully,” Stevenson added.
Schools are scrambling to implement alternative learning scenarios, with most having some kind of online component.
“We had been meeting prior to this happening about what this would look like,” said Jill Ackerman, superintendent of Lima schools. “We have different platforms at all levels. We have Class Dojo at the elementary level, we have Remind and then at the high end, we also have Schoology, which is an online platform that we use — that’s more of a five through 12 platform. We’ve also opened up Google Classroom for our high school teachers that have requested that as well.”
Elida schools are utilizing the online learning management system, Schoology.
“All of our teachers have been trained in this online system,” said Julie Simmons, director of curriculum and instruction for Elida schools. “Starting on Wednesday, all teachers will be using that platform to post assignments weekly for students to complete. Through Schoology, teachers can create discussion boards, post videos, share links for students. They’ll take the lesson that they were planning on doing in the classroom that week and turn it in into a digital or video lesson. Students can also then respond within Schoology. We’ve also linked all of our digital textbooks in Schoology, so they’ll still have access to all of the resources that the teachers have, so we’re hoping instruction will be as normal as possible.”
For students who don’t have access to computers or the internet, Lima schools are doing what they can to help.
“There’ll be an opportunity on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12, for people to come to the school and pick up hard copies of things,” Ackerman said.
Spectrum is offering free internet during the coronavirus school closure to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a subscription. Call (844) 488-8395 for more information on that program.
Keeping a close eye on how students progress through this period can be challenging.
“As far as kids that fall behind, if they’re doing it on the electronic format, that teacher is going to be able to tell who’s not getting the work done, who might be struggling, and they certainly can reach out by telephone and they can also reach out even through those platforms to those kids to offer them help and assistance,” Ackerman said.
The parents have a lot of responsibility to aid the student.
“We really have to depend on parents at this time, to set schedules for their kids and to really be there with them at the table, making sure that they don’t have questions. As long as we can have teachers coming into the building, parents can call in, or kids could even call in and have conversations, but for how long that can happen, we don’t know,” Ackerman added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.