CAN YOUR CLASSROOM HANDLE LIVE STREAMING? WILL YOU TEACH THE SAME LESSONS TWICE A WEEK?
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Palm Beach County School District leaders are now engaged in a series of virtual “town hall” meetings — where officials are going through the motions of soliciting public feedback so they can presumably say they received public feedback, but seem locked on a plan that many say will lead to another lost school year.
The highly publicized Palm Beach County School District plan as of June 22, 2020: a hybrid model where half of a school’s population goes to school physically on Mondays and Tuesday, and the second half of the school goes to school on Wednesday and Thursday. Students take part in “distance learning” on days that they are not physically in school.
“It’s just not going to work,” is the theme of messages BocaNewsNow.com has received en masse over the past few weeks from teachers and parents.
BocaNewsNow.com has learned, and quite frankly has seen first hand, that most elementary school classrooms district-wide aren’t wired for “live” video streaming. And in school after school, where teachers complain about spotty wifi for merely checking email, it seems improbable that scores of classrooms could technologically broadcast “live” on the District’s internet system simultaneously, all day, every day.
“Even if every classroom had a webcam, which it doesn’t,” said a teacher in South Palm Beach County, “the bandwidth isn’t there. It’s a good day if we can watch Go Noodle for 5 minutes without the video starting and stopping. The school district isn’t set up for what administrators apparently think will happen.”
Parents contacting BocaNewsNow.com cite the speed of education as another problem, suggesting the school district needs to be “all in” for either distance learning or “in person,” but split shifts are a step in the wrong direction.
For kids in advanced elementary school classes — like Gifted and AMP (advanced math — where student move at a high speed pace to master skills at a much-higher—than-grade- level curriculum) slowing the pace by forcing teachers to teach the same lessons twice a week defeats the very purpose of high speed classes.
The same holds true for children with special needs.
“They need consistency,” said a parent. “To go from in-person attention to virtual attention isn’t going to work. Children who need extra help and care are going to find themselves shunned because it isn’t ‘their day’ for help.”
Teachers, what do you think? You’re the experts.
Teachers, what are your thoughts? We’ll keep you anonymous, but we are interested in what you believe to be possible and what you think just won’t work. No one knows local education better than those of you who work to make it work every day.
Email us at news (at) bocanewsnow.com.
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