COVID-19 Pandemic: US schools discontinue distance education
Chattahoochee High School, Georgia is one of the many schools in the US that discontinued distance education. Photo credit: conservativedailypost.com
US schools discontinue distance education, end the school year early and plan for the next in fall
Schools cited stress, lack of computer devices, and internet access as well as learning motivation, overwhelmed homes, and more.
Schools to ensure the knowledge gap due to uncovered curriculum is filled by the next school year
Many US schools are discontinuing distance education because they believe that the challenges and problems it poses outweigh the benefits.
Many US schools that discontinued distance education cited that it was very stressful; they lacked computer devices and internet access was too much to overcome.
The school year is ending early for 1 of every 10 students in Georgia, the US and many district leaders lamented the inability of the schools to prepare for and take standardized tests in the final weeks of the school year that is now canceled.
Josh Kemp, the School Principal of Chattahoochee County High School, Georgia whose school abruptly discontinued remote instruction in distance education on May 8 instead of May 21, hinted that even though some parts of the curriculum remain uncovered, there was no reason to pile more on their parents and students and that teachers would find a way to cover those topics in the next school year.
The Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, and state schools superintendent, Richard Woods, are not opposed to the schools resetting their calendars provided the school children remain healthy, safe, and nurtured.
Some schools in Georgia are making plans to combat academic losses from the school year by beefing-up summer sessions. The Scintilla Charter Academy in Valdosta is aiming to start the next school year on July 23, to make up the lost time when it ended on April 30.
Despite schools not working optimally, it may be the best access low-income students have to learn.
Only 59% of households in the district where the school is situated have access to broadband internet at home.
Other districts around the country that are ending the school year early including Omaha and some nearby suburban districts in Nebraska, Washington, D.C., and some in New Hampshire.
Officials said that they wanted to relieve stress on parents and families, ease problems for students without internet access, and focus on preparing for a fresh start of the next academic year in the fall.
Other issues many US schools associated with running distance education during COVID-19 pandemic included schoolchildren and students staying motivated without their teachers and friends; learning gap; kids in struggling household missing routine academic activities in school; overwhelmed homes; concerns over younger children being able to acquire critical skills like learning to read without face-to-face interaction with a teacher, among others.