While some students have thrived and learned during the pandemic, others are likely to have fallen behind.
Our Melissa Marrero spoke with the chief academic officer and director of secondary learning for Broward County Public Schools on how students are doing and what new resources they’ll be providing to help students stay on track.
“For many of our students, eLearning has proven to be successful. But for some, it has been a struggle,” said Dan Gohl, Chief Academic Officer for Broward County Public Schools.
Several surveys show most students in the U.S. say they strongly prefer in-person classes. One by Morning Consult, shows 66% say they strongly or somewhat agree that they learn better in person vs 37% saying they somewhat agree that they enjoy online classes.
But the big question school districts are trying to answer is, are students making any academic progress at home? According to school officials in Broward County, out of the 212,000 registered students around 60,000 are falling behind.
“We know that some students have really found it hard to maintain the self-management skills that eLearning demands. If your child is one of those, come back,” said Dan.
A recommendation some parents struggle with.
“I cried on Monday when I dropped him off because I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing,” said Emily McCrater.
Emily agonized over the decision of taking her son Daniel back to school, but she felt it was necessary so she took him a week before the upcoming semester.
“All of his group of friends have learned how to use Microsoft Teams and have another tab open with Fortnite or [they would talk] to each other,” said Emily.
So what resources are available to students who are not going back to the classroom? Guy Barmoha, director of secondary learning for Broward County Public Schools says they are providing several tutoring options like third party vendor Saga Education and “Ask BRIA!” which stands for Broward Remote Instructional Assistance.
“So Melissa, if you were a student that needed math help for the second semester of the year, you’d may be assigned to me to be your tutor and you’d have direct access to say ‘I need math tutoring today’ and we’d set a time for me to come in and virtually help you,” said Guy.
As for Emily and her son, she says they’re both happy about their decision on going back to school in person.
“His first day back he was like ‘this is so great, I got to see everybody’ and he immediately was like the Daniel pre-COVID,” said Emily.
The second school semester begins on Monday. Students in Broward County can access Ask BRIA by clicking on the link in their Canvas courses section. By clicking on the link, students will be guided to a live Teams session and receive academic support from a certified teacher.