Free wireless internet access also will be available in the parking lots of each of the county elementary, middle and high schools for those that don’t have access at home.
Last year, students weren’t graded for any of the work they did unless they had a failing grade at the time of the closure and needed to bring their grade up to passing. Jessica Jones said learning was more time-consuming for those without internet.
“It’s a time disparity when you’re sitting down and you’re going remotely through a packet versus if you’re sitting online and all you have to do is just click,” she said.
Many students, both with and without internet access, however, “checked out” and stopped trying because there were no grades or mandatory new content, Jessica Jones said. This year, even remote-only learners will be responsible for learning content and submitting graded assignments.
“There will be a lot of burden on parents to encourage their students to do their work,” said Chairman of the School Board Samuel Burton, noting that this is true whether or not the student is working online or with a paper packet. “I’m not sure devices at home is the answer … what I have found to be true is a lot of other divisions have given everybody devices, but their scores are not as good as our scores.”
When asked about any disparities in engagement and learning between those with and without internet access during the last school year, Teresa Petty, the assistant superintendent for instruction for the division, wrote in an email that “the learning modules have been designed to include engaging authentic, and relevant learning experiences for students to complete.”
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