Some public schools’ planned ‘return’ to school is just Zoom in a classroom

For hundreds or thousands of students in one suburban Maryland county, the return to school won’t spell the end of remote instruction. It will just mean the same remote classes over Zoom, but while sitting in a classroom with your friends and a school staffer to babysit you all.

a group of people looking at a laptop

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The above characterization is, admittedly, not terribly generous, but the official explanation hardly sounds wonderful either. Here’s an excerpt from an email one local middle school sent to parents about opening in late March.

As of the writing of this email, due to staffing and mandatory safety measures (reduced number of students in a class, etc.), the return to school plan at Hallie Wells will be what is called a support model.

A support model is one where a cohort of approximately 10 students are assigned to a classroom with a staff member to provide support for online learning.

* The goal is to have cohorts of students be in the same grade.

* This cohort will not necessarily be students who have the “same schedule …”

* Students will take classes virtually utilizing chromebook, inside classrooms …

Each classroom will be assigned staff to provide support for online learning.

Teachers still won’t show up to class (yet, they’re still apparently ahead of in-person private school teachers in the county’s vaccination plan), but students will. And the students will still spend all day staring at screens, with a paraeducator supervising them.


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Different schools in the county will do things differently. Presumably, some schools will actually offer real school, with teachers in classrooms teaching students who are in the same classroom. The county calls this “the direct teaching model.”

The “indirect model” appears to amount to the “support model” of Zoom classes in a classroom. At least the children will see their friends, which is an improvement!

Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Education, Coronavirus, Teachers Unions, Teachers

Original Author: Timothy P. Carney

Original Location: Teachers stay home: Some public schools’ planned ‘return’ to school is just Zoom in a classroom

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