From the Superintendent's Desk: Innovative instruction gives Dublin students options

Todd Hoadley
Guest columnist

Dublin City Schools strives to be innovative in the way we deliver instruction to our students.

As such, we have been piloting livestreaming in our Emerald Campus classrooms, and when the second semester begins, staff members will livestream instruction at the high school level when students are in the classroom.

Todd Hoadley

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This will fundamentally change how high school looks for the second semester if we are able to meet our goal of students attending in-person classes Jan. 5.

The livestreaming of high school courses means hybrid students will attend school on their designated days and engage in synchronous learning two other days per week.

Wednesdays will be used for catch-up and for students to receive help from their teachers if needed.

Remote Learning Academy students will be logging in five days per week. This means that, beginning the second semester, high school students will be required to be available to attend class five days per week.

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Students might not be expected to be on screen for the entire 50-minute class, as we remain mindful of the amount of screen time we are all engaging in during this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

I’d also like to share an exciting initiative you will be hearing more about in the coming weeks and months.

We are excited to introduce DCS Virtual, a new division working to develop online versions of our high school courses. As a point of clarification, this is not the same concept as the Remote Learning Academy necessitated by the pandemic.

DCS Virtual is committed to bringing choice and flexibility to all high school students by providing rigorous courses in an online environment.

We are fortunate to have highly qualified individuals leading this work to provide our students even more options. Erin Schultheis, the coordinator, and Natalie Henderson, the developer, bring years of experience in online instruction and are working to identify and develop courses for our students.

Currently, the courses offered are Financial Literacy, Health and Individualized Wellness. About 300 students are enrolled in these courses.

Next school year, the offerings will be expanded to Psychology, ACT/SAT Prep, Music Appreciation, Art Foundations, Precalc and E4.

With some courses already in place, this program offers online self-guided courses for our high school students.

 DCS Virtual courses are offered outside of the regular school day to provide course flexibility. These courses can be used in support of early graduation, flexibility with scheduling or catching up on credits missed. The courses count toward a student’s GPA and are monitored by highly qualified Dublin City Schools teachers.

DCS Virtual courses are self-paced and do not require real-time interactions. Content is available online for students to access when it best suits their schedules.

The district is beginning the process of branding this program, with an eye toward expansion and further development. A logo contest will begin before the end of the calendar year, and the entire community is invited to participate.

Look for an email and more information posted on the district website, dublinschools.net, regarding the logo contest in December.

Todd Hoadley is superintendent of Dublin City Schools.