DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public Schools are implementing changes in response to the extended school closure in Ohio. Students will now receive virtual instruction from their teachers, Chromebooks will be provided to families who need them, and the district will make Wi-Fi available to ensure students can access their work.
Students in K-8 who pick up food from a DPS distribution site or have it delivered will receive a packet of work on April 8 with the intention that they will go over it with their teachers when virtual lessons begin on April 13.
Superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, told 2 NEWS reporter Devero Bogart that the plan is to provide only remote instruction beginning April 13. She said that was dependent on receiving the Wi-Fi technology in the mail, as she said shipping was being impacted by the coronavirus.
But she said all teachers had been trained and are ready to go.
“Our staff went through a whole week of training last week and the curriculum team put together sessions on how to use Google Hangout and how to create lessons that are actually online and appropriate lessons,” said Lolli.
One Chromebook per family of five will be dispersed and must be returned either when school resumes or in June. Schools have contacted families individually to assess Chromebook needs. Anyone experiencing technical issues with the Chromebooks can trade the laptop and power cord for a replacement one time, by calling the DPS Break Fix Center at 937-542-3205.
“This week already there have been Chromebooks that have been distributed to our families that indicated through a survey we did recently, that they needed Chromebooks,” said Lolli. “For example, today, eight elementary schools gave out Chromebooks from their buildings to families that needed them and made appointments.”
DPS is also tackling the issue that many families said in the survey that they are facing, which is a lack of access to the internet.
“Wi-Fi that’s on 32 buses will be projected into a neighborhood, and it’s strong enough that if a bus parks in a strategic location in the neighborhood, the students can work in their homes there,” said Lolli.
Lolli said the buses will be out Monday through Thursday, and the schedule of where and when the buses will be, will be placed online. She also plans to send out a robocall with that information.
Seniors will be loaned a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to complete their work from home at any time, and will receive the hotspot and a Chromebook later this week.
Lolli said with these changes, they’re confident students will receive high quality instruction.
“There are three pieces of those lessons that teachers are preparing,” said Lolli. “There’s an independent part the student does. There’s a teacher directed part so the teacher is actually teaching online, and there’s also a personal or small group contact that the teacher will be making once a week. That’s to make sure the students are staying caught up with their lessons, making sure the students are completing the lessons, and if there are any needs that we can help with.”