Virtual classes for real students designed for best learning models and to keep everyone healthy
By Esmee Halsted
The Gilpin school board announced that they will be doing virtual school for at least a month starting off. They decided to rescind in-person school because of the rising COVID-19 cases. Gilpin schools did have nine weeks of remote learning last school year in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. An online learning plan has been created based on trial and error from last year. Online learning will differ for secondary and elementary age groups. Students will use their school Google Chrome books in most grades; otherwise plans have been put in place for non-digital remote learning. As for students who opted and chose to use a different online program, they will have the option to switch.
For elementary school, teachers will work with their individual grades in order to provide the best education. By utilizing Webex, an online seminar site where teachers and students can share their pc desktop, Google Classroom, and email, teachers will share assignments and keep in touch with their students. When it comes to attendance students will be considered present if they attend a Webex meeting to get instruction and gather as a class. Teachers will post an agenda for the entire school week. In the meantime, students will complete assignments virtually. Teachers will be available from 8 am – 11am, and from 1 pm – 4 pm for help. Special education will be available and teachers will regularly check-in to offer support. School should run smoothly with the Elementary remote learning plan in place
As for High School, there will be classes that students attend virtually. Students will turn in assignments and work via email and classroom and attend one Webex session a week for each class. Starting on Monday, an agenda will be posted for the entire week allowing students to work at their own pace. Once students have turned in their work, they will be graded with a clear definition of mastery for each standard that corresponds to a grade letter. Teachers will be available all day Monday and Tuesday as well as limited times on Wednesday and Thursday. School attendance is based on if students complete the work assigned for the day. Gilpin’s older students will be able to thrive using online school with the procedures in place.
In the scenario where students do not have the necessary technology, there are tools and plans in place for remote learning with limited technology. Students will utilize visual tools such as text books, graphs, diagrams. Items will be provided in color and in black and white. The goal is to incorporate multiple ways of learning. Teachers will provide clear instructions. With the use of non-digital tools all students will be able to do online learning.
They will still offer an online curriculum from Colorado Digital Learning Solutions. Additionally, students can choose learning led by Gilpin teachers that is digital. They may switch programs during semester breaks. In the case that a student does choose to be taught by Gilpin teachers in person, they must be prepared to attend in-person school if this becomes an option. Students have many options for learning throughout this coronavirus pandemic.
The plan the school set forth will provide students with an education during these hard times. While the plans are different for elementary and secondary, the online format works to provide students with the best resources and learning available. So much so that students don’t have to have technology in order to attend online learning. Additionally, this online learning is a great segue into the corporate world where online meetings via MS Teams, Skype, and Zoom have taken over in-person meetings while business offices have been shut down over the past six months. There was a Gilpin Schools town hall recently to answer any questions regarding online learning. Listen to the recording at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QEc9yguLaghNujBSRSPDWGjtT0ofJWDD/view.