Columbus Public Schools will be holding a remote learning day on Nov. 3, due to some facilities being utilized as voting locations and as a practice run for e-learning, said CPS Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz.
“Our buildings are closed to visitors so rather than trying to deal with outside visitors coming and going, we’ve decided to practice a remote learning day with our students,” Loeffelholz said.
CPS schools will return to in-person learning the following day on Nov. 4.
This allows the district to gauge how well e-learning is going from the teacher’s standpoint and to gain data to know which students struggle with online learning, whether that be from the online lesson itself or an internet connectivity problem.
“It allows our teachers to do a remote lesson and practice it … say the governor next week decides to close all the schools, we’ve never really practiced it, so this gives us an opportunity to practice that with our kids, from kindergarten all the way through seniors,” Loeffelholz said.
Students without internet or with limited access can take advantage of CPS’ free Wi-Fi available in the parking lots. Loeffelholz also noted that students are issued electronics that are programmed to the schools’ wireless access.
“K through 4 have iPads, which are connected to our Wi-Fi, and then all of our middle school kids and high school students have Chromebooks,” he said. “We have those hotspots in all of our parking lots for families. If they don’t have internet access … I would hope they would access those points, they’re free. The only challenge is… they have to get there.”
Those who receive free meals can still receive lunch and breakfast on Nov. 3. Students must sign up at their school on Oct. 28; On Nov. 2 at the end of the school day, students will pick up the meals.
“Sixty percent of our student body are considered on the free or reduced lunch federal program,” Loeffelholz said. “I’m sure they would get food at home but this guarantees that they do. It’s still considered a school day, so we felt like it was important to send them home with a breakfast and a lunch for the next day.”
Additionally, Loeffelholz addressed rumors that CPS is practicing a remote learning day to prepare going into Tier Red, in which the schools would be closed.
“It’s nothing more than an opportunity for us, while our facilities are being used by outside sources, to practice,” he explained. “We don’t know how good we can be until we practice it.”
Lakeview Community Schools has a plan in place for Election Day, as well.
“Lakeview Jr./Sr. High is a polling location,” Superintendent Aaron Plas said, in an email. “We will continue to have regular school attendance on that day, but will have a blocked off parking area, separated entrance, and dedicated gymnasium for the voters.”
Scotus Central Catholic High School is not a polling place and will have a regular school day on Nov. 3, as confirmed by Taylor Dahl, Scotus’ director of marketing and communication.
Loeffelholz said Election Day may not be the only day CPS practices remote learning.
“There may be a day or two later on in the year where we do the same thing,” Loeffelholz said.
Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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