New learning option coming at some school districts, expected to benefit everyone in and out of the classroom

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — A new learning option is coming for students and teachers at the El Dorado and Crossett School Districts.

This new method is expected to go a long way in relieving the stress of educators on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This year is definitely like anyother year we have experienced,” Veteran teacher at Hugh Goodwin Elementary, Brigitte Haney said.

Educators and students across the state have been back at school for about six weeks and even those like Haney who have been in the teaching world for decades are still trying to grasp life under the pressures of this pandemic.

“Even the veteran teachers feel like newbies again.”

Brigitte Haney, hugh goodwin elementary school teacher

The biggest adjustment for Haney is finding the balance between giving attention to online students and those who are face to face in the classroom.

For some teachers world-wide, it’s been difficult finding time to prepare for lessons and meet the needs of those virtual parents and students. Haney says there just so many hours in a day to teach, plan, grade and answer questions and fix problems.

With the additional workload that fell into these teachers laps, Haney was among multiple teachers that sent in letters to the El Dorado School District administration office, asking for some sort of relief.

According to the Camden News, the Camden Fairview School District discussed this very issue at Monday’s school board meeting.

High School Principal, Gary Steelman, said two teachers were in his office one day at 7:15 a.m. on the verge of quitting because of the amount of work that has been added.

Patric flanigan, camden news

The El Dorado School District responded to letters and concerns by requesting approval from the state implement a blended learning option on Friday.

The district explained this option in a statement saying below:

“Blended Fridays” give parents/students the option of learning from home or school.
Students who choose to learn from home on Fridays will NOT be counted absent.
Instruction on blended Fridays will be 100% virtual for both students at home and those
who choose to come on campus.

“Blended Fridays” is being implemented for several reasons. The state is experiencing a
shortage of substitute teachers and the need for substitutes is more prevalent on
Fridays. Additionally, this new schedule will allow our custodial team extra time to
disinfect areas of the building. Most importantly, this schedule will give our teachers the
much needed time to develop lesson plans, videos and assessments for both online
and on-site students and subsequently provide quality instruction for every student.

Not only will it allow teachers some extra time to get caught up and prepare for the next week but it gives students that same additional time.

No new content will be reviewed and major assignment won’t be given out. on these Fridays. It will only be used as make-up, intervention, and remediation days for teachers and students, the district says.

“If they had been in here on campus just 100 percent of them face to face then we would be spending that Friday covering new ground or maybe testing. By having the virtual Friday we are going to be able to build in review time which will hopefully make their skillset stronger.”

BRIGITTE HANEY, HUGH GOODWIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER

El Dorado School District will begin this Friday option on October 9th. The Crossett School District has also implemented this but it will be each Monday beginning October 19.

The Camden Fairview School District has put in a request and is awaiting approval from the state.

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