Starting the new school year early
The first day of school has already come and gone for two Dayton-area charter schools. Both have reopened with fully remote learning models. Details of how things went are a bit sparse in coverage of North Dayton School of Discovery’s first day this past Monday, but the strong prep work teachers and administrators put in ahead of the early opening is very clear. Far more detailed is the coverage of Emerson Academy’s first day on Wednesday. We see how their live, synchronous online learning got started with lots of energy, backstops, and innovation in evidence. As befits the chaotic times, Principal Landon Brown knew that that start probably wouldn’t go perfectly. But he told his staff that they needed to jump in and figure it out so that they could move their students forward no matter what.
In-person learning for the new year
Franklinton Prep, a dropout recovery high school in Columbus, also started the year this past week. They are providing fully in-person learning, based upon a survey of school families conducted earlier in the summer. We get a nice look at the Covid precautions put in place to help keep students and staff healthy and safe and to keep learning moving forward. A story from Chalkbeat Indiana, meanwhile, looks at the considerations faced by Hoosier charters in reopening for in-person learning. Sometimes, the relative independence of charters is a double-edged sword.
Hybrid reopenings…and more
Richland School of Academic Arts in Mansfield reopens next week with a hybrid learning model—students attending in person two days per week and completing work at home on the other days. Their reopening plan is only a small part of this story, which charts the huge growth and high achievement of the school, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a larger space and an eye toward even more expansion. Breakthrough Schools in Cleveland are reopening with another type of hybrid model. While all teaching and learning will be done online to start the year, the network is in the process of creating remote learning centers where students without adult supervision during the day can come and do their remote schooling in safety and with the support of Breakthrough-trained adults. Cleveland-based journalist Patrick O’Donnell discusses aspects of the Breakthrough plan for a national audience in The 74, including efforts by churches and community organizations like the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club to assist families with remote learning.
The road to school is rocky
For charter schools adopting both hybrid and fully in-person learning models for the fall, the question of how—and more importantly, whether—remote-learning districts will be transporting charter students remains unsettled and problematic. We’ve already seen the trouble wrought in Dayton over this issue, and the Dispatch tells us today that the state is getting involved—both ODE and the legislature—to try and effect a solution.
Students at the Utica Shale Academy in Salineville will benefit from a $200,000 state grant to help them gain knowledge and valuable credentials in six so-called “Industry 4.0 building blocks”. Sounds like a great boost for students and the school. Meanwhile, Toledo Maritime Academy was lauded for its success in helping students find direction in high school—both in academics and in working toward college and career. The piece provides several first-person examples from TMA students and graduates.