Distance Learning in Rural vs. Urban/Suburban schools

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aussiegirl, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Apr 27, 2020

    I teach in a rural school and I'm curious about the similarities/differences we are seeing between rural and urban/suburban schools.

    1. Do you teach in a rural or urban/suburban school?
    2. Are you in a 1-1 school (where each student has a laptop/tablet to take home as well as use in school)?
    3. Do all students have reliable internet access at home?
    4. Has your school ever used distance learning prior to COVID19?
    5. How often do you contact your kids/parents & guardians?
    6. What percentage of your students are completing (thoughtfully) and turning in work?
    7. Are you allowed to give grades other than participation points?
    8. Are you worried about the effect of this closure on students for next school year?

    This is what it is for me.
    1. I teach in a rural public school
    2. We are a 1:1 middle school, except for 6th graders. We are not allowed to use any face-to-face video tools such as Zoom.
    3. Most but not all students have reliable home internet, and some have no internet. There are hotspots at each school in the district, but few students can get there on their own.
    4. We have never used distance learning prior to this pandemic
    5. We contact our kids every week. Teachers each have a group to contact, and the groups are rotated weekly. We log all contacts on a common Google doc form
    6. About 10 - 15% of students school-wide are doing/submitting work, thoughtfully completed or not.
    7. We are only allowed to give participation points.
    8. I'm not too worried about the English Language Arts, but I'm sure it is a bigger worry in other subject areas.
    Stay well!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 27, 2020

    1. Do you teach in a rural or urban/suburban school?
    Suburban
    2. Are you in a 1-1 school (where each student has a laptop/tablet to take home as well as use in school)?
    No
    3. Do all students have reliable internet access at home?
    Probably 95% do, but not all. We did loan out Chromebooks and internet hotspots about a week and a half ago
    4. Has your school ever used distance learning prior to COVID19?
    No
    5. How often do you contact your kids/parents & guardians?
    A phone call to each family the week before we started remote learning. I've been sending a generic email to parents once/week, either on Friday afternoon or Monday morning. I post a message for my students every morning and answer questions posted on Google Classroom throughout the day. Today, I sent each one of my students a personalized email.
    6. What percentage of your students are completing (thoughtfully) and turning in work?
    About 70%
    7. Are you allowed to give grades other than participation points?
    No grades. I do give detailed feedback and use rubrics. We don't have participation points.
    8. Are you worried about the effect of this closure on students for next school year?
    Not really because everyone is in the same boat. We all will have to change things up somewhat, because there will be gaps, but the expectation always is that we meet the students where they are, not where we wish they were.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  4. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Companion

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    Apr 27, 2020

    1. Rural
    2. Yes, 1:1
    3. Not all but most and the school district has also issued hot spots to students
    4. No
    5. I contact weekly the parents of students who I have not heard from.
    6. I would say 75-80%
    7. No
    8. Not too worried - I guess we'll see when/if we are able to go back in the fall.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2020

    1. Urban
    2. Yes, we were already 1:1 although most grade levels didn't previously send devices home
    3. The district purchased hotspots for students who didn't have internet access.
    4. No
    5. We put out lessons and give feedback Tuesday-Friday. Contact beyond that is dependent on individual student/family needs. I was required to document contacting all of my students prior to remote learning starting to explain how we're meeting their IEP needs via remote learning (I'm a sped teacher).
    6. The "thoughtfully" piece there makes my percentage go way down. About 90% are doing something. However, the vast majority aren't watching the instructional videos at all and are just turning in the exit tickets, which provide a few minutes of practice at best. I also have a lot of parents that are doing work for kids/just giving answers. I have 1 student of 25 on my caseload who is actually accessing the online learning daily and using it as intended.
    7. Classroom teachers were told students' grades can only go up with online learning- not down. That's problematic because we do standards based grading, so it just doesn't really work like that. We were just told today that if the standard wasn't formally assessed, students will get a "P" for participated. There is a lot of concern with students suddenly turning in perfect assignments because either someone else in the house is doing the work for them or giving answers. We were told in that case give them the higher grade and we'll "deal with it next year." I'm still waiting for word on what my IEP progress reports are supposed to look like as most students have regressed on goals.
    8. Yes, for most students this is basically the equivalent of losing an entire quarter of instruction. I am sure it's going better in higher SES areas, in low SES districts like mine this is "widening the gap" like you wouldn't believe and teachers will be blamed for how far behind kids are. Not to mention, we have no guarantee next year will be a complete year either, and we will be going back to increased mental health needs, more trauma, more students not getting basic needs met at home, and significantly decreased funding/resources to meet all kinds of needs.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2020

    1. Do you teach in a rural or urban/suburban school?
    Rural Public School
    2. Are you in a 1-1 school (where each student has a laptop/tablet to take home as well as use in school)?
    We are 1:1 in grades 8 to 12. Next year we will be 1:1 in grades 6 to 12. All students have a Chromebooks.
    3. Do all students have reliable internet access at home?
    No. Some students live in areas where internet is not available. However, some have been able to get hot spots through their cell phone providers. A few don’t have phones either. Out of my 86 students, only about 6 don’t have internet access at all.
    4. Has your school ever used distance learning prior to COVID19?
    No. My state has NTI (non-traditional instruction) days that can be used for illness or snow/weather, but my district did not qualify. DH’s district does, so they have done days remotely, but only a day or two at a time. We also have a few kids who do distance learning for classes we don’t offer, and some kids who are in alternative placement use online school.
    5. How often do you contact your kids/parents & guardians?
    I contact kids daily in Google Classroom. I sent weekly emails to all the kids. I contacted all parents/guardians during the first two weeks to make sure everyone had my phone number and email. I’ll message when needed.
    6. What percentage of your students are completing (thoughtfully) and turning in work?
    I’ve only had three kids I’ve had zero contact and zero participation. None of them are surprising. The kids who work in school are working now. The ones who slack are still slacking. This year’s group is kind of rough. They’re a challenge to get to work when I’m right there with them.
    7. Are you allowed to give grades other than participation points?
    Yes. We are grading. I’m being a little more lenient with grades since they are lacking a lot of the direct instructions and work leading up to the actual assignment.
    8. Are you worried about the effect of this closure on students for next school year?
    We are putting together a list of missing skills for the following grades, then making a remediation plan to get that covered. My class has already covered every standard multiple times, so that helps. We cover every standard in every unit, so this is our fourth or fifth time with these same standards. We just use different materials. (I teach ELA, but three of our units are social studies based, and one is science based.)
     
  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Apr 30, 2020

    1. Do you teach in a rural or urban/suburban school? Rural
    2. Are you in a 1-1 school (where each student has a laptop/tablet to take home as well as use in school)? Yes
    3. Do all students have reliable internet access at home? Yes
    4. Has your school ever used distance learning prior to COVID19? Yes
    5. How often do you contact your kids/parents & guardians? We were told daily contact, but 4/5 days is acceptable. Zoom counts as a contact.
    6. What percentage of your students are completing (thoughtfully) and turning in work? None of them are doing the same quantity or quality of work they'd do if they were with me (as a parent or a teacher!) Maybe 1 out of 4 are putting a lot of effort into online learning right now. Those ones keep me motivated.
    7. Are you allowed to give grades other than participation points? NO, everyone passes
    8. Are you worried about the effect of this closure on students for next school year? Not really. I am retiring after this year. Other teachers will just have to take the kids the way they come. I've been doing that most of my life.
    and..I am tired...lol
     
  8. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    May 1, 2020

    1. Do you teach in a rural or urban/suburban school?
    I teach in an urban school.
    2. Are you in a 1-1 school (where each student has a laptop/tablet to take home as well as use in school)?
    My school was 1:1 for in school use, but students were not able to take devices home until COVID-19. The district had to scramble a little bit to clean and reset devices to send them home. Other schools district wide are only 2:1 for K-2; my P has just been super proactive about acquiring more ipads for us so we're 1:1
    3. Do all students have reliable internet access at home?
    Nope. Less than half of my students are consistently signing in. Several have intermittent access depending on which family member's house they're at. A few have no internet and will not be getting internet.
    4. Has your school ever used distance learning prior to COVID19?
    No. This is new for us. The high schools have been using Google Classroom for a while, so I think their adjustment was a little easier than the elementary.
    5. How often do you contact your kids/parents & guardians?
    Not often. We do weekly messages and parents can contact us as needed. The ESL teacher, counselors, and the social worker have been making more consistent contact with parents. My coteacher and I have tried a couple zoom calls with students, but we mostly check in through Seesaw posts.
    6. What percentage of your students are completing (thoughtfully) and turning in work?
    I have 9/25 students consistently submitting work. A few of those are not really trying, which is a shame because they're kids who generally worked very hard in class.
    7. Are you allowed to give grades other than participation points?
    Nope.
    8. Are you worried about the effect of this closure on students for next school year?
    Not really. Academically... kids at my school are where they are and this really isn't going to make it much worse. I'm more concerned about social/emotional effects. Kids will catch up if they can recover emotionally from the stress and trauma of stay-at-home orders and global pandemics. Since my students are in a low income area, I'm sure at least a few of them are dealing with much bigger issues than school being closed.
     
  9. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    May 1, 2020

     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  10. May 6, 2020

    1. Do you teach in a rural or urban/suburban school?
    I'm the technology director in a rural school district. (Manawa, WI)

    2. Are you in a 1-1 school (where each student has a laptop/tablet to take home as well as use in school)?
    We are 1:1 grades 6-12 and shared carts for K-5. The carts are Chromebooks with a few iPad as well.

    3. Do all students have reliable internet access at home?
    No. Even families with wired access are experiencing problems. In response to COVID19 we had to purchase 20 Kajeet Hotspots for families to have full coverage.

    4. Has your school ever used distance learning prior to COVID19?
    No. We discussed distance learning as an alternative to snow days. This has forced the issue.

    5. How often do you contact your kids/parents & guardians?
    We have a team of paraprofessionals contact EVERY family EVERY week. We call it a wellness check. It has been going very well and the families appreciate the contact.

    6. What percentage of your students are completing (thoughtfully) and turning in work?
    Not sure (I'm the tech director.) But, is is a pervasive issue.

    7. Are you allowed to give grades other than participation points?
    K-8 will be pass/fail/incomplete. 9-12 will receive grades or incomplete.

    8. Are you worried about the effect of this closure on students for next school year?
    Oh yes! We had a discussion today about treating this as a traumatic incident. And we are planning on how to handle them academically when they return.
     

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