Avon Lake City Schools prepping teachers with online workshops for virtual learning

Avon Lake City Schools prepping teachers with online workshops for virtual learning

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Teachers at the Avon Lake City School District are preparing for this school year by taking some lessons of their own.

“The unknown has been a big focus for us, because we’re trying to plan for any possible scenario,” said Avon Lake City Schools Curriculum Director Dr. Jack Dibee.

He said things will look and feel a whole lot different from the spring when students, parents and teachers were unexpectedly thrust into online learning.

“The content we know. It’s how we’re going to deliver it that we are focusing on,” he said.

Dibee said they got a lot of feedback from parents, teachers and kids and created a newer updated model that includes live interaction with the kids each day, the ability for small group tutoring and a single sign on for all materials.

“Now we know we’ve got the kinks out. Now we know what we need to do make this balanced and work with the flexibility that’s needed for an online program,” he said.

Based on survey results from families and teachers after the end of the last school year they came up with a suite of 24 online workshops to best prepare everyone for a variety of scenarios that they’re likely to face this school year.

The district is expecting 17% of its student population to go all virtual.

Some K-8 teachers and some high school teachers will be exclusively virtual, but they want to be prepared for anything and everything.

So the 300 teachers in the Avon Lake City School District have been working the past couple weeks on live and on demand online workshops that tackle topics like blended learning classrooms, using Google classroom, how to get to the most out of teaching in a virtual setting, social and emotional development or trauma, and dealing with stress and time constraints.

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Each teacher will have to do at least three, but many are doing more than that, according to Dibee.

“They know what they want to do, and now we’re combining it with the tools they need to do what they want to do. So when they select these sessions, they’re able to say ‘I really want to use Screencastify. That’s something I can use to make my instruction better.’ Well we went out and bought a district subscription to Screencastify and now we’re offering a session for people to learn how to use it, for example,” he said.

Teachers aren’t the only ones setting an example with this professional development and continued learning.

The district is making seven to eight on demand online workshops available to parents starting next week, on topics like “What’s a Google classroom?” and how to keep my child organized.

Those will be available starting Aug. 24.

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