DeLand, FL - The Volusia County School District issued an edict this week that Volusia Live students not maintaining at least a "C" grade average will be contacted and must return to face-to-face (brick and mortar) instruction.
The general consensus is that students learn better and more easily face-to-face than they do online. Volusia United Educators President Elizabeth Albert says the School District sent that edict to the parents before letting teachers or her know about it. "What the District has decided is that if they're not achieving at a certain academic level, and really, the timing of this is very interesting. They've decided that half-way through the first grading period they want to start this messaging about bringing them back."
Albert says the beginning of the school year was very difficult for many people, including the students. Having to use a digital platform to start the school year and learn in this very different way, compounded on the fact that the end of the prior school year was very different, it's very understandable that students are having problems. "And so to say halfway through the first grading period 'if you're not producing, you need to come back,' I think it's premature and I think it's very inconsiderate and disrespectful to the students, the parents, and the teachers."
There are a couple of issues with bringing students back to face-to-face learning. According to Albert, there are 100 teacher vacancies in the school district. That means there are 100 classrooms with substitute teachers. Albert said class sizes are already on the rise due to classes with low enrollment being ended and those students moving in with other classes. She says at the moment, there's not enough room to have appropriate social distancing in the classrooms.
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