Last month, the Bexley City School District launched distance-learning strategies.
We are now several weeks into our distance learning and are implementing phase 2 of the transition.
In phase 1, we focused on launching districtwide distance learning, safely providing food service for specific student groups and deploying our available technology to residences without devices available for students.
Throughout phase 2, our focus is on delivering high-quality instruction to our students at their residences.
The Bexley school district is known for excellence. We have a long history of offering excellent educational opportunities to students in the classroom. Our staff and teachers are working diligently to translate their expertise on classroom instruction to distance learning, but it's not as simple as it might seem.
Many of our teachers, like you, are balancing working from home and caring for children or elderly parents or grandparents.
We recognize that parents of our students might be essential workers, facing sickness at home or dealing with uncertainty due to unemployment.
In all of this, we want our parents and students to remain mentally, emotionally and socially healthy.
One of our driving goals in providing high-quality instruction at home is to continue building upon a student-centered learning culture. When students and teachers are working together in the classroom, it is much easier to be student-centered and to respond when our students are struggling or need help. That still remains our goal even in this new environment.
We have always known that in order to be student-centered, we constantly have to evolve. We have to evolve our approach for students with different needs or abilities; we evolve our approach as student interests change; and we evolve our approach as new research reveals more effective teaching strategies.
We are used to evolving, and now we are figuring out how to evolve in a new way, but this change doesn't happen overnight.
In the midst of rapid change, our teachers and staff are focused on the learner profile now more than ever. The Bexley Learner Profile describes the qualities we intend all of our students to develop throughout their educational journey, and it guides our instruction at all levels.
We are committed to our mission. What we want for students hasn't changed; only our environment has changed.
Our current environment, while temporary, has the power to effect lasting change. Some of the things that work well in this time of distance learning will enhance post-COVID-19 classroom education. Some of the things that do not work well will help us to appreciate what we have and plan our investments for the future when our school buildings reopen.
We already know that Bexley Schools must turn to the technology plan with a sense of urgency.
This time of distance learning will come to an end, and although we don't know the exact timeline, students and teachers will return to the classroom. Together we have an opportunity to shape what that future will be for Bexley Schools when the time is right.
I look forward to sharing that opportunity with you, hopefully soon.
Bexley City Schools Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller submitted the Bexley Bold column.