After a summer of uncertainty about how the school year will start, Monday morning public school students will begin their classes the same way they ended – online.
But with the distance learning also comes concerns from parents and teachers about whether the district is ready.
Instead of showing up on campus, Miami-Dade students will log on for their first day of school.
Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo said the district is ready. In a tweet on Sunday, he wrote “I know these past few months have been challenging, but I am positive we are ready to reopen smart and return safe.”
Students will need to log on to the My School Online portal using a device with a microphone and camera.
“During the first week of school, we want you to focus on being present with your students – connect with them, build relationships, and establish routines and expectations. This will help allay their concerns and angst about what the school year will bring, and ultimately help lay the foundation for their academic achievement,” he wrote.
The district said teachers have staggered start times to prevent the system from crashing and students are encouraged to still wear their school uniforms.
“I don’t feel completely ready,” teacher Richard Ocampo told CBS4 last week. “But we have had enough sessions I think to get somewhat used to it. We haven’t had much hands-on experience yet.”
One school board member told CBS4 last week, the lack of adequate training for teachers is in part due to the late approval from the Board of Education before the district could begin training.
“We recognize that some of the delays – all of which have been the result of errors with third-party vendors – have impacted our ability to feel fully prepared and comfortable using the platform. We have collectively been affected by this. We also recognize there have been challenges with professional development. I promise you we are working day and night to quickly ameliorate many of these issues, all so we can deliver a better experience to you and our students,” he wrote.
Despite the challenges, the superintendent told his teachers that he believes they will overcome them.
“,,,I ask you to lead. Lead your colleagues. Lead your students. Lead by example. Trust that no matter the obstacle, no matter the bumps in the road, we will succeed together. We will leverage this crisis and create additional opportunities for our students to thrive. With your continued patience, professionalism, and partnership, I have no doubt that we will once again accomplish the impossible and realize inevitable success.”
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