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September 30, 2020 Meeting - Open Forum - Remote Learning

Updated: 5 days ago

PALS Meeting Minutes

September 30 2020 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education. We discussed

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We took the time to talk about the different learning models families are utilizing, how it was working for them, and how these past six weeks have compared to last spring. We discussed three learning models, hybrid (two days in-person class three days at home), virtual (synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning) and solely asynchronous virtual learning.


There was a consensus that although it was a rough start to virtual learning in the spring, the pace of learning was much smoother, more doable. One member put it best by saying that it is as if school districts are trying to combine three very different teaching/learning models; in-person/traditional learning, virtual learning, and home-schooling. Each of these have very unique methods of teaching and learning and although the desired outcome is the same, the way to reach the goal in each is different.


One way we have observed the toll that the combination is taking on our students is in the amount of time they are "zooming" in each school day. Whether it's three days a week or five, the virtual school day (synchronous/asynchronous model) is lasting the length of a traditional, in-person school day, or longer. Of course it is understandable that one reason might be the idea of educational equality. However, if virtual students are burning out, is their education really equal? At the very least, the situation is becoming more concerning than what families experienced in the spring. Once the initial shock of the situation settled down, the school days became more manageable for families with most reporting students were able to complete their work in a shorter amount of time than now with the same amount of work.


At the same time, there is the question of equable instruction. For instance, in one class this week, students in both the hybrid and virtual (synchronous/asynchronous) models were responsible for completing the exact same assignment. An assignment in-depth enough that students were given a week to turn it in. The difference; hybrid students had the luxury of some sort of in-person instruction for the assignment whether that was simply the teacher reading the directions to the class or more. While virtual students did not have access to any live-stream into the classroom at any point. The difference, at best, an adult was available to read the instructions to students and hopefully understand the directions they were giving, at the worst, virtual students were left to understand the instructions on their own.


We all agreed that once again, there is no easy answers to the situation. However, what we all know we can do is work to keep our families safe and healthy while continuing to foster positive relationships within the family, the community, and school.


Clearly, we are not the only ones concerned with these issues. Here are a handful of articles addressing some of the topics we discussed:




Next Meeting: October 28, 2020 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

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SPECIAL NOTE

All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.

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