Alachua County School Board members talk digital distance learning plans

The board voted 4-1 on approving a plan to submit to the Florida Department of Education
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 12:08 AM EDT
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A car caravan of teachers, parents and community members honked outside of an Alachua County school board special meeting rallying for safe school re-openings.

A protestor said, "So many teachers are worried about being exposed already."

The school district constructed an optional innovative reopening plan for in-person and digital learning. Teacher Kendra Vincent says the first nine weeks needs to be fully digital.

"As teachers, we all understand that there are problems with that. That it's not a perfect solution but our safety and the safety of our children need to be first. And we understand that they feel like they can't make that decision because of the executive order and we're saying please find a way because we can't teach from the grave."

The optional innovative reopening plan goes over the Alachua digital academy which offers students online learning while maintaining a connection to their brick & mortar schools. The district has until Friday to submit their plan to the Florida Department of Education.

Superintendent Karen Clarke said, "We recognize that managing two platforms like that is gonna be new for a lotta people."

Teachers could teach live and through recordings to work with both in-person and digital academy students. For hours, the board discussed approving how the plan will accommodate students and teachers.

Clarke added, “We could even blend the digital academy even with some e-school courses. So there may be that there’s not the availability to do it in the digital academy but we have that course in the e-school. We have students in brick and mortar that can also take e-school, that happens right now in a traditional year where we’re not dealing with COVID.”

Teachers will be trained on the digital learning platform canvas, for the Alachua digital academy.

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