I am writing as a parent to express my hope and concern that Southampton seventh-to-12th-grade students receive the best possible educational experience this school year.
It is good news that students will be able to attend classes in person at least two or three days per week. What concerns me in the district reopening plan is what happens on the days when students are at home.
Over the past several years, teachers and administrators have reminded us that the most critical aspect of learning is face-to-face instructional time with students. It is the very reason that the district lengthened the time of several classes.
If we want students to have the best possible educational experience, it is imperative that we embrace live-streaming so that students who are not physically in the classroom can observe the lessons in real time on iPads or Chromebooks.
There are several key benefits to live-streaming that make it the best option:
1) Structure. Students need structure, and being out of the classroom two or three weekdays per week will make it difficult for students to stay focused on learning.
2) Accountability. If there is live-streaming, students will be expected to show up for online lessons and not miss out on valuable learning time.
3) Less repetition and need for redesigning lessons. If teachers use live-streaming, they don’t have to re-teach their lessons each time the A or B group comes into the classroom. Furthermore, they don’t have to create special homework that students can complete during their days of home learning.
4) Continuity. If a student in a particular group tests positive, all of the students in that group will have to quarantine. Live-streaming allows for continuity of learning wherever students are, at home or in the classroom.
5) More time on subject matter. Teachers can teach on a schedule similar to previous years and cover the entire course material, rather than have to reduce the materials covered to fit the reduced time.
I understand that some teachers may need extra support and assurances around the idea of having a camera in the classroom. We are trusting teachers every day, and I think we must trust that they will do their best, even though there likely will be a learning curve.
Southampton is very fortunate compared to some districts in that we have all the technology in place to deliver online learning and live-streaming. It’s easy to look for reasons why we can’t do something new, but given our resources and our talented teachers, our district is in a position to be leaders in showing what a public school can do.
I hope we seize this opportunity and do what is best for our children.
To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.
We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.
One fine body…