BELOIT—The School District of Beloit will launch online learning on April 6, the previously scheduled first day after spring break.
The work will be overseen by teachers who will be expected to hold office hours for two hours a day and will be graded pass or fail, according to information from Interim Co-Superintendent Sue Green in a presentation to the board of education on Tuesday evening.
Information and educational materials will be available on smartphones and mobile devices through a new mobile app launched Wednesday. The app is available in the online iTunes and Google Play app stores for free. The app also can be customized by the user by selecting the school they are most interested in for news and updates.
“We know that our students are more successful in school with families who can be engaged and updated on learning opportunities and school-related information,” Green said. “We had planned on launching the app in early May, but with the closing of our schools and distance learning occurring, we knew we had to get this app up and running much more quickly. Everyone in our district is working hard to ensure our students are receiving the best education and learning opportunities during this time. Our app is just one more way to make that happen.”
Parent information regarding educational programming went out to families Wednesday.
Professional staff are to hold office hours for two hours per day and communicate and provide support for their students. Principals will oversee and record the work being done by their staff on a weekly basis, and teachers will provide feedback on student work.
The first priority in planning will be given to high school seniors to ensure graduation readiness with the second priority for other high schoolers to ensure credit acquisition.
High school-age students are expected to be engaged in learning two and a half to three hours daily, five days a week. Second semester grades for students in grades 9—12 will be pass/fail. All 12th grade student work is due on June 3, and all students in grades 9—11 must turn in all work by June 5.
Intermediate students are expected to be engaged in learning one and a half to two to hours daily for five days per week, and elementary age students are expected to be engaged in learning one to one and a half hours daily for five days a week.
Green said the district is reaching out to every family to determine what, if any, devices they have and if they have internet access. The district is exploring options for families to access free wifi and internet resources, including looking at some hotspots for internet access, information which will be available on the district website and communicated out through other means.
The district is making an effort to connect with families to let them know school is back in session for term 4 and to share there is an expectation for participation. Those with the district will connect individually with all students in the first two to three days of instruction if they are not seeing communication and/or participation and will find a way for students to complete their work.
“There should not be a barrier for students to participate or to complete work. If we see situations with concerns, we will address those directly with those families to resolve issues,” Green said.