Well, our friends in Heber have made a decision on schools for next year. Their decision could be described as “whatever you want, you got it.”
According to a Facebook post from the School District, “Wasatch County School District plans to bring students back for a traditional school schedule as our primary model. This model will be available to all families who desire it. In addition, we are planning to offer a half-day model with increased social distancing, as well as a District-sponsored fully online option. Regardless of what model you choose to be best for your student(s), Wasatch County School District is prepared to provide engaging learning opportunities for all students.”
So, from Jordan school district we have four days, with Friday being at-home schooling. From SLC School District we have a two-day a week, in-person schedule. From Wasatch School District (Heber and if you live between PC and Kamas) it is a “whatever you want” model.
We still haven’t heard from Park City and won’t probably for a couple of weeks. Not today, but at some point, our district will seem dawdling and out of touch on this decision. The clock is ticking. Sometimes when you speak last you have a moment of brilliance. If you don’t, you may look like you don’t know what you are doing.
I personally think Wasatch will be in trouble. My day job is designing software and it provides a view into the real world. Everyone wants options, but delivering those options in a way that actually works effectively is really hard. How will teachers practically provide an at-home model, a hybrid model, and an all in-person model? To me, if they do it, it sounds like the worst of all worlds.
Wasatch says it will provide a completely online model. Will they subscribe to online learning services on behalf of the students? Will they be creating every hour of learning themselves? Will they be accounting for DLI? Will teachers record themselves giving a lecture to kids from some telephoto camera and then that goes out the next day to students?
Wasatch also says it will provide a half-day in-person model. How does that mesh with the online version of teaching? How does a teacher ensure that both whatever is happening online and in-person coalesces? How does a teacher have time to prep for both in-person and remote learning?
With the 100% in-person model, that would likely be easiest (except for the masks) because it’s what teachers are used to doing. However, they also have to account for the other two models, at the same time.
Perhaps I’m not giving the Wasatch School District enough credit. Maybe they will be the model district for handling fall 2020. Likewise, since some kids will decide to stay home in every district, a complete online learning model will need to be developed anyhow. It’s complicated.
That said, I wouldn’t look forward to being a teacher or a student in the Wasatch County School District this fall. It’s going to be tough. It’s probably going to be tough everywhere.