State Education Leaders Gearing Up For Distance Learning
Education leaders across the state are working to make sure students are able to get back to learning in just a couple weeks.
“There are many people, thousands, district and school leaders across the state who are working very hard to be ready to go on April 6th,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said.
She said there will likely be several ways students are able to learn while completing the spring semester from a distance.
One of those ways will be through the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA), the state’s public television station.
“What we are doing is clearing the calendar on daytime programming,” Hofmeister said. “Giving grade specific, subject specific programming guides to teachers so that they can assign different segments that can be watched in real time or at a later date through streaming.”
She said the state is finishing a survey of schools to determine where technology can be added or improved for students to do coursework online, however, Hofmeister said not all students will need computer access.
“It can be distance learning meaning it’s remote,” Hofmeister said. “It may be lessons that are distributed just like the old days when we had a homework assignment and a book.”
Districts like Edmond are telling parents distance learning will not be part of a students’ semester grade. The state superintendent said the state department of education will be giving schools additional recommendations, but that decision will be left up to each district to make.
“It will be a time where kids can advance and they can still work to improve their grade,” Hofmeister said. “We don’t want there to be a negative effect that this distance learning might have on a GPA, for someone who was perhaps struggling on a high school course that will take these next weeks to improve their grade.”
She said schools are also exploring options to accommodate the children of healthcare workers whose services are vital during the pandemic.
“Our message to parents is, first of all, recognize that this is really not something that anyone signed up for, they were not prepared, and we want to ease the burden and shoulder some of that need,” Hofmeister said.