Waterville Central School students will switch to a more structured online learning format this week.
During last week’s remote WCS Board of Education meeting, Junior-Senior High Principal Nick Rauch and Memorial Park School Principal Maureen Gray explained the new format, which follows seven weeks of a more open-ended educational plan for students.
Although the plan had been to have the meeting shown live on YouTube for people to watch and email in questions, technical difficulties prevented that. The meeting was recorded and is available on the district’s website.
A video explaining the changes was mailed to students last week. Calling it the next phase of online education, Rauch said the Waterville plan lands somewhere in the middle of no plan and rigid.
“Some districts are running almost a regular school schedule Monday through Friday,’’ he said. “Others are more free flowing and letting the teachers pick and choose.’’
After hearing from some parents that more structure was needed, the new schedule was developed. Even before it debuted this week, Rauch has heard complaints from parents saying it is too structured.
The schedule sets up times when teachers will offer online instruction via Google Meets; these will supplement the one or two lessons a week each teacher will send on Sunday nights.
Students will not be penalized if they do not join the Google lessons during the assigned times. The live lessons will not be posted and available later, so if a student misses it there is no method to watch at another time.
Rauch said some parents are concerned about accessibility, either because of poor or no internet, or parents who need to use the home computer for their employment. All WCS students have been provided with a Chromebook.
In addition, Junior-Senior High students can do written work and bring it to the school. Rauch said it is scanned in and sent to the…