Northern Michigan School Districts Create Back Up Plans for Remote Learners
Students who are planning to return to school virtually may experience a lag in technology performance.
“We’re using a curriculum called Accelerate and the platform that Accelerate uses is Canvas,” said Onekama Consolidated Schools Superintendent Gina Hagen. “We’re using that curriculum not only for our face to face learners but also for our online learners, just in case students have to transition in and out of the classroom.”
Ludington Area Schools are also using Canvas for their remote learners.
“This particular model is more closely aligned to the regular school day for students,” said Ludington Area Schools Superintendent Jason Kennedy. “It allows for a student to still connect with a cohort of students that are also learning from home.”
Each school district offers laptops and iPads for students, and has taken surveys with parents to determine internet connection for remote learners
“Depending upon where you’re at within the district, you may have some limitations on bandwidth,” said Kennedy. “But a large majority of our parents and students do have access to the internet.”
Both superintendents know there may come a time when their remote learning platforms will lag or not work during the school day.
“There are staff in place to be liaisons between our parents, our students, and our teachers,” said Hagen. “If something like that happens, my liaisons would be calling parents, seeing what they need, how we can help the child get caught back up if the platform were down. Whatever resources we needed to get out to them, we would do that.”
Ludington is not ruling out any form of instruction.
“Certainly paper packets are not out of the equation and certainly providing some type of flash drive or storage drive with the content that can be downloaded offline is not out of the question,” said Kennedy. “While we certainly expect that our plan is going to be implemented, we know that we may have to, at some point, provide options outside of just being a virtual digital connection.”
The school districts are ready for whatever comes their way.
“I think we just need to learn that this is evolving as we speak and it changes every day,” said Hagen. “We need to be resilient to that and keep learning as we go.”