Parent expresses concerns over Alachua Digital Academy

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:46 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - When schools restarted, students in Alachua County were given the option of doing brick and mortar, Alachua Digital Academy, or the Alachua E-School.

One parent feels their kid is not getting the education they deserve through the digital academy.

Marangellie Rivera said her 3rd grader has never had issues with his grades in the past, but is now in the Digital Academy and is failing. The student has ADHD and struggles to sit at the computer for multiple hours daily. Rivera said they have reached out to the teacher, but their only advice was to send them to into school, which is not something the Rivera wants to do.

With anything new, which the Digital Academy is due to the pandemic, there are going to be some struggles, but Alachua County says they have resources available if you feel that your kids are struggling.

“We continue to add to our parent resource page that has videos and instructional manuals and other resources for Digital Academy families to help them navigate their way through it,” said ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson.

Johnson also says they’re making updates to the Digital Academy weekly and giving teachers more resources.

“That includes more technology, and more training," said Johnson. "One of the things we’re are particularly excited about is we heard from teachers who are working with students online is that they needed some help, some additional people helping to bring kids in for example or work with them individually. So we’ve actually already trained nearly 70 volunteers who are already placed with teachers and helping them with that.”

Rivera also says cites concerns that teachers are not putting in as much effort to the digital academy as they would to in-person classes.

One parent is concerned that their kid is failing in Digital Academy.
One parent is concerned that their kid is failing in Digital Academy.(WCJB)

“The state requires the Digital Academy students to follow the same daily schedule as the brick and mortar students,” said Johnson. “That’s not just in Alachua County, but in all districts that offered families an alternative online option. Obviously that can be a challenge for some students and families. That’s why we also offered families the option of the Alachua eSchool, which doesn’t have to follow the same schedule, or the brick and mortar model.”

Parents will have the option to keep their kids in the Digital Academy through December, but will then have to decide whether or not to send them to in person or switch to the E-School.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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