It is becoming apparent that students at area school districts may not get back into the classroom until May. While many students may welcome the break, they are becoming a part of a new form and growing trend of education in online learning. Some students will thrive on this format while others may take some adjusting to. The Belmond-Klemme Community School District has made some necessary adjustments to make the transition from classroom to home bound and online easier for their students according to Superintendent Dan Frazier.
Instituting a program of online education is very difficult. Transferring class materials from book form to an online form is challenging enough, but to have to do for an entire semester is only part of transition. There is the ability to record a lecture, interaction with students, sometimes face to face online, the ability to receive and process assignments from students, and the need to keep students engaged in the materials. When teachers are actually in the classroom with students, they can read the student and then work with them to help. Online, they are separated by a screen and it is not as interpersonal.
A few critics say that the district isn’t doing enough, but considering the preparation time in rolling the online program out, the vast majority of parents approve how the district has adapted.
Some of the traditional end of year programs may have to be re-thought out such as Proms and graduations. Frazier says his staff and teachers are working on getting students graduated out of their respective grades so that when classroom sessions return either in May or August, students will be prepared.