- We have heard a bit about school districts having trouble accessing enough laptops for their students ahead of a remote or hybrid school-year start. Not so for Toledo City Schools, which is nearing the finish line of distributing 22,000-ish laptops (one for every student) and 4,000-ish Wi-Fi hotspots. A huge undertaking which appears to be going as well as could be expected. School starts, fully remotely, on Tuesday in the Glass City. (Toledo Blade, 9/2/20) In-person learning in Parma City Schools also resumes on September 8th, but the district’s all-remote option (the IMO underwhelmingly-named Parma Virtual Learning Academy, or PVLA) won’t start up until September 14. Plans are still in flux for PVLA, which actually has no teaching staff assigned to it yet. It seems that current Parma teachers will get dibs on those PVLA spots if they want them, and those teachers are still coming forward with less than two weeks to go. It is unclear whether there will ultimately be open spots in the brick-and-mortar schools if too many teachers opt for PVLA, but the superintendent tells us that “many” teachers will be doing both in-person and remote teaching and that he is interviewing noobs right and left. Sounds like the Labor Day weekend might not be much of a holiday up there. (Cleveland.com, 9/2/20) We heard in that Toledo piece from a mom of five kids in the district how happy she was with this fall’s lead up to remote learning. And she was even pleased with the fact that her kids would no longer be “distracted” in class by their friends as they were when attending in person pre-rona. But this working mom in the Cincinnati suburbs is no fan of her district’s remote learning scheme, saying that Northwest Local Schools are relying too heavily on parents to do the work of teaching. And she even works from home! The district spokesperson pleads for patience, saying that it’s only Day 5 of the school year, but Mom points out, wisely, that they have had since March to figure this out. Ouch. (WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, 8/3/20) Very different ballgame in Kettering City Schools, which starts fully remotely next week. Any family without an adult at home during the day (self-reported, I think) can get four-star, red-carpet, in-building support (think “learning pods” and “quiet spaces”) from the district free of charge. (WDTN-TV, Dayton, 9/1/20) Columbus City Schools starts fully remotely next week, several weeks later than the year was originally supposed to start. Here’s a look at one elementary school where staff, parents, and even the youngest of students are optimistic for a good school year…or at least a better school year than the previous one. (NBC4i, Columbus, 9/2/20)
- Despite the social distancing requirements, temp checks, and constant hand sanitizing, everyone quoted here says that the in-person side of the new school year at Painesville City Schools’ Chestnut Elementary is going great. No details are given, but the remote side is said to have been “a bit of a challenge” thus far. (Cleveland19 News, 9/2/20) Newark City Schools opened fully remotely last week, except for students with special needs, many of whom have a limited in-person schedule. We get an inside look at how things are going so far for those students, their parents, and their teachers at Hillview Elementary. (Newark Advocate, 9/4/20)
- Meanwhile, School TV continues apace on the public broadcasting station in Athens. (WOUB-TV, Athens, 9/4/20)
- Here is more detail on the proposed bill that would, among other things, request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for testing of students in Ohio. Personally, I hear that the bill’s supporters might not want to count their federally-waived chickens before they’re hatched. (Cleveland.com 9/2/20)
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