Bay Village School District moves eLearning forward in phases
After several weeks of setting up online classrooms, mastering online meetings, creating video messages and wading through a tsunami of email, the Bay Village School District has settled into distance learning. Teachers and students, as well as parents, have learned a lot about teaching and learning online, or eLearning, since schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recognized that eLearning presents unique challenges and is a new experience for our students and teachers,” said Superintendent Jodie Hausmann. “We had to pivot into this process quickly. So for those first weeks of this year’s final quarter, we asked teachers to review material previously covered, and to not assign grades.”
But now, like many other school districts across the nation, students and staff will return from spring break to cover new material that “counts” on the students’ final report card. (Ohio test grades are no longer an issue after the state waived all its tests for this year.)
“The work will be graded, but not in the traditional way,” said Hausmann. “Grades for the last six weeks of this final quarter will be a 'complete' or an 'incomplete' on assignments. The quarter’s final letter grade will be based on consistent, completed work.”
The goal is to have students continue to learn in this new situation, without the added pressure of grades. Teachers will be focusing more on constructive feedback about work, rather than assigning a calculated percentage.
“We want students to remain engaged with learning,” the superintendent said. “We want parents, especially those with younger children and multiple children, to feel less pressure in their guidance. The isolation of social distancing is hard enough. We want learning to be a bright spot, a fun and joyful addition to the day.”
Learning materials, assignments, video messages and interactive activities are accessed through student Chromebooks. Prior to the stay-at-home order, only high school students took their school-issued Chromebooks home. But during the second week of the school closing, Chromebooks were issued to all kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Parents retrieved the computers during a coordinated, drive-through event that made social distancing a priority.
Hausmann said the district’s next priority is to make senior year and graduation special in some new ways for this year’s graduating seniors. “We feel sad that students may miss some of these milestone events they have been looking forward to since grade school,” said Hausmann. “But we have lots of creative, talented adults in this district, staff and parents, who love these kids. I am confident that whatever our governor decides about allowing gatherings, we will find a way to make the end of this year a special one for our Class of 2020.”
Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District