Sojourner’s Truth Staff
Last week, Toledo Public Schools announced that its students will be offered an alternative online learning option for the upcoming school year. Through the virtual classroom, students will receive a chrome book and receive daily instruction from a certified teacher. Attendance will be mandatory and will be monitored daily.
“What approach do you want for your child?” asked TPS Superintendent Romules Durant, EdD, as he introduced the options available to students during a press conference.
According to Durant, TPS is prepared to offer parents and students three options in the fall: the traditional classroom, remote learning and an “A/B” combination of class and online instruction.
The district has been actively soliciting the opinions of parents through its website – TPS.org – to determine how many would prefer each option. Thus far the results show that 48 percent of parents prefer the classroom option, 20 percent the remote instruction option and 33 percent want the A/B combination.
Nevertheless, Durant emphasized, the final decision may not be up to either parents or school administration but rather the State of Ohio and Governor DeWine. It is the governor who is expected to declare within weeks, when schools may re-open for classroom instruction.
Registration for the fall 2020 school year starts this week and can be accomplished at TPS.org.
The preparations for the fall session is an extension of what TPS and other school districts faced in the spring when schools were temporarily closed, then shut down for the rest of the academic year.
“We made sure that some 8,000 chrome books were in households,” said deputy superintendent James Gault who emphasized the “comprehensive approach” the district administration was taking to develop options for its parents and students.
Providing chrome books, a reliable internet service and certified teachers for live instruction are all priorities for those students – PreK to 12 – who want to go virtual, said Gault.
Stephanie Eichenberg, school board member and a parent of TPS students, spoke to a problem the district had during the spring when the shutdown happened – locating students and their families.
“We need to know how to find you,” said Eichenberg. “That can be a roadblock. Make sure you’re up-to-date and in touch with us.”