As we barrel towards August and what is expected to be the start of the 2020-21 school year, there are a lot of questions to be asked.
Covid-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, meaning we have to learn to live with it until such time that a vaccine is created.
In doing that, that raises a lot of questions about how education will be carried out.
As of right now the plan is for school to start on time this year. However, like many other school systems, Lawrence County will be offering different options for learning this school year.
Those options include traditional on campus learning, completely online virtual learning and blended learning, which is a college style learning that combines on campus with virtual.
To gauge what option parents might want for their kids, the Lawrence County Board of Education sent out a survey last week.
So far the response to the survey has been “pretty good” according to Superintendent Jon Bret Smith.
“So far about 60% of parents have responded to the survey,” Smith said. “With the survey being less than a week old we feel that’s a pretty good response rate.”
Smith said the survey has already given them valuable information for moving forward.
“The survey has allowed us to kind of gauge where parents are at in regards to what they want for their child,” Smith said. “Soon we’re going to break down all who have taken the survey and work on contacting those that haven’t.”
Based on responses from some that took the survey, there was some initial confusion regarding it. Smith hopes they have quelled any confusion.
“I think that some were worried that what they chose would be set in stone,” he said. “While we would certainly honor a choice made right now, we want everyone to know that nothing is set in stone. We are going to be very accommodating.”
To take the survey you can go online to the Board of Education’s website. The BOE has also posted the link throughout their social media platforms.
The survey is roughly 10 questions, asking for name, contact information and your choice of learning. In addition to that, there will be questions regarding internet access and what you feel government funds provided to the school system should be used for.
One of the options for learning is blended learning, where students would receive most of the learning virtually but would go to campus two days a week for roughly three hours to learn lessons the school felt were vitally important.
Originally the plan was to send blended students to one location, but Smith said that plan may be changing.
“The plan was to keep blended students away from traditional learning as much as we could,” he said. “But we received more surveys choosing blended than we imagine, mostly I think because parents who have concerns about traditional learning, but don’t view complete online as a viable option, see that as meeting in the middle.”
“Because of that,” he continued. “We’re changing our plans around. Blended might not be as separate from traditional, unless of course a child is medically fragile.”
Smith said the survey will not go away, but they will begin taking responses at the end of this week and begin trying to contact those who didn’t respond.
“Our goal is to reach around a 90% response rate.”