The Greenville Public School District’s plan of a virtual reopening for the first nine weeks of the academic year was approved Thursday evening at a special meeting of the GPSD board of trustees.
This means instruction will take place strictly online as students engage in virtual or “distance” learning.
The first nine weeks will serve as Phase I of the district’s plan to gradually implement a hybrid learning schedule, which combines online and face-to-face instruction for students while ensuring distance learning requirements are met.
Superintendent Debra Dace shared in a presentation on virtual (distance) learning, “Instruction will consist of real time/live instruction as well as some asynchronous learning opportunities for students. This means that there will be a mix of interactive and independent activities.”
Dace’s recommendation for Phase 2 is to implement a “hybrid model” which she alluded to at a June 30 meeting.
With the hybrid model, half of the student population will attend school two days a week as there will be two cohorts.
Cohort A would attend Monday and Wednesday, Cohort B would attend Tuesday and Thursday and both cohorts would attend virtually on Fridays.
Dace noted a select group of students would attend a third day during the week for remediation, enrichment, MTSS and the like.
Seniors, however, would continue with virtual learning full-time and the district would distribute electronic devices to each one.
Pre-K students would attend school onsite, Monday through Thursday and virtually on Fridays.
“While they’re on campus, we would adhere to the CDC and the state health guidelines as outlined in the plan and proposal,” Dace pointed out.
In lieu of student transitioning, teachers will rotate from class to class.
In an effort to accommodate families and understanding there may be some high school students who have siblings at the elementary school level, Dace’s plan provides that families will be considered when arranging students into cohorts to ensure someone is there to help with the younger children even if they are at different schools.
GPSD shared surveys with parents via Facebook, Twitter, local businesses and the district’s website to gauge what model of instruction parents would feel the most comfortable with between hybrid and online only.
Out of 1,185 respondents, 70% (824) chose “online only.”
Another survey question asked about “access to internet at home” and 87% (1,026) of respondents chose “yes” for having access.
For students’ mode of transportation, 61% (720) of respondents chose “car” and 32% (382) chose “bus.”
A pressing concern has been how parents with multiple children enrolled with the district will manage the modifications.
The survey sought to determine roughly the number of parents who have additional students in the home.
47% (558) of respondents indicated having additional children in the home.