BROOKVILLE — Superintendent Erich May gave an update to the CARES Act Funding, and continued plans for preparing for possible closures in the fall.
May discussed the CARES act funding and the implementation of new technology related to reopening in the fall.
“We are slated to receive $330,000 in CARES Act funding, and that is ostensibly emergency aid and one time funding passing through the state from the federal government’s CARES Act. And, as discussed we are using almost all of that CARES Act funding to purchases devices and software so that we can go online at a moment’s notice in the fall,” May said.
The school has already purchased 825 Chrome Books and are working on getting 350 chrome tablets. It was decided with faculty input that Lenova tablets will be used for K through second grade, and HP Chrome Books for third through twelfth grade. These will be devices students can take home in the event of an extended closure or “rolling closures.”
This would be a system of students broken into two groups, where half the students are in the classrooms the first and third week, and the second half is in the second and fourth weeks of a month. When students are at home they will still be engaged via the technology the school is securing.
A committee has decided to use Desire2Learn as the online learning management system.
“That’s a software that was particularly appealing because it customizes nicely for primary, elementary, and secondary. The committee really felt this was a software that would work the whole way from K to 12,” May said.
The school is also planning hotspots for students who lack internet access at home. This is all part of the plan for the CARES Act funding to ensure the school is prepared for further closures.
Once final grades are entered, teachers will begin professional development for teachers in online instruction.
“We want people to recognize that online instruction involves a different set of tools, a different set of expectations, and presents its own opportunities and challenges. So we want to start with professional development for teachers that addresses remote learning and hybrid learning broadly...” May said.
D2L offers the school an opportunity to have synchronous as well as asynchronous learning. Teachers can schedule for the class to all be online a the same time, or students can be free to log on whenever is most convenient. May said the school will be utilizing outside help to make the best decisions in structuring online learning.