West Carrollton shift to fully online classes includes in-school help for those who need it

West Carrollton school district is shifting its launch of the school year back to fully online classes, but will provide in-school help for students who need it, according to district officials.

The school district initially offered a choice of traditional classroom or remote learning for students, but state and local recommendations caused district officials to revise the reopening plan to entirely online for the first quarter, the district announced Tuesday afternoon.

All students from kindergarten through 12th grade return to an online learning environment for the first quarter of the school year, which will be Aug. 24 through Oct. 15, the district said.

Chromebooks will be available based on the technology needs of the home.

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Shifting back to an online-only model has “always been an option” in the district’s plan, according to Andrea Townsend, the district’s superintendent.

“We want to ensure our students can return back safely,” she said. “While the bulk of the state is returning using a hybrid model, our county remains in the red. The numbers in our county remain high, and there is a concern we may have many more intermittent closings which could be more difficult for our families.”

Townsend said district officials were hoping the county would be yellow before the school year started, but the data is not trending that way, Townsend said.

The online model is different compared to the spring because West Carrollton teachers will be in the building all day providing instruction, she said.

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“We are expecting our students to work with the teachers, as well as having independent work,” Townsend said. “We expect students to work 30 hours per week on and off the computer.”

Students will be able to come into West Carrollton schools to work with their teachers for extra assistance, special education services, gifted and related services. she said. The district will provide transportation for students who are scheduled to report for face-to-face instruction.

The schedule allows for less than 25% of students to be in the building at one time, district officials said.

A fully digital day does not mean students will need to be logged in from 8:45 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. like a regular school day, Townsend said.

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“The lessons will be recorded to add flexibility,” she said. “We will have students record their work in a journal to monitor the amount of time they spent working on their classwork. We need students to stay on track.”

Preschool classes will be conducted differently, the district said. Parent/guardians of preschool students will be contacted by the Early Childhood Center or may call the school for more information.

A back-to-school orientation is being planned for the week of Aug. 24. Elementary teachers will schedule online parent/teacher meetings, while middle school and high school students will have the opportunity to come to their respective building and meet their teachers.

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