Category Archives: Virtual Learning

Micro-Schools – Students & Teachers Coming Together

Given the recent failures of virtual learning this past Spring combined with the Fall semester starting virtually, parents are searching for options to educate their children. A number of families are coming together to start their own Micro-Schools.

Micro-schools are growing in popularity for families who want their kids to have something more than virtual learning. Many parents don’t have the time or energy to monitor their child’s online education. Teachers are considering side hustles now that they are looking at numerous furlough days.

Families are getting together in groups of 5 to 10 students to form a Micro-School to outsource education services. It’s a 21st century Little House on the Prairie style education.

Most Metro Atlanta schools originally planned on having some amount of in-person traditional learning. Teachers and administrators have been worried about the health of teachers. School districts have been struggling with the logistics of social distancing students and staff. On Monday, Gwinnett County was the last school in the metro area to finally decide to go 100% virtual this Fall.

Enter Micro-Schools.

DeKalb Micro-Schools
DeKalb Schools administration indicated to me that they are not inclined to have teachers at school during the work day. The administration said at the board meeting they do not intend on paying substitute teachers unless they are working. Many teachers and subs are seeking a way to to close the gap in their paycheck.

What will the micro-schools teach? Public schools will be opening virtually in August. At the very least, micro-schools will just simply need to keep children on track with their virtual classes.

It will be interesting to see how micro-school compliments and augments the virtual learning process. What are the long-term implications of micro-schooling on public education as a whole? What are you seeing on the horizon? What are your thoughts on micro-schools?

Board Policy GAG – Staff Conflict of Interest

In accordance with Board Policy GAG – Staff Conflict of Interest, employees may, during the hours not required of them to fulfill appropriate assigned duties, engage in other employment, provided such employment does not violate any pertinent section of this policy, Board Policy “Code of Ethics,” Descriptor Code “GBU,” or any contract the employee has with the District.

Except as provided for in District-sponsored programs: (1) no employee shall provide tutoring on District property, for which compensation that is in addition to the employee’s District salary, is received; and (2) no employee shall tutor, for compensation, either during the school year or summer, any student who is currently assigned to the employee.

Virtual Learning Make Up Days

Virtual Learning planned for DeKalb Schools make up days.

DeKalb Schools (DCSD) closed schools for four days in January due to inclement weather – Jan. 8 as well as Jan. 17-19.
Recently, stakeholders participated in the inclement weather survey that closed on Friday, February 2, 2018. Over 21,075 stakeholders provided input. Of the 21,075 participants, approximately 63% selected virtual learning as the preferred option to make-up the inclement weather days.
DCSD wants to remain flexible in case more inclement weather days are needed in the future, so virtual learning will be implemented as the need arises.
Obviously, this is uncharted territory for me. My understanding of how this is going to work is that teachers will provide students with a virtual assignment that is content-specific and relevant. Teachers will grade the virtual learning assignment. The assignment will be aligned to the standards and what the students are currently learning.
Assignments may involve reading, writing, conducting research, performing mini labs, completing practice problems, taking notes, and/or answering questions. Students will be given one week to complete and submit the virtual assignment.
Virtual Learning access will be made available to students over two weeks – the week of Feb. 27 and the week of March 8. Students will have five school days plus a weekend to complete their assignments.
Parents will receive an official communication from local schools during the week of February 20. Parents are also encouraged to contact their respective school principal and teacher for additional information and details during the two virtual learning weeks.
Over the next couple of weeks, principals and teachers will be given guidance on virtual learning and a refresher in the school district’s technology system (VERGE). Teachers will plan, develop, and post the virtual learning assignment for February 27- March 6, 2018 in VERGE.

Related Articles

Survey – Making Up Days Lost to Inclement Weather
January 25, 2018 – Please complete the short survey about the make-up day options. This is not a vote but rather an opportunity to receive input from all stakeholders to determine the best option for our students and families.

DeKalb Schools Make Up Days
January 23, 2018 – The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will make up two of its three inclement weather days on Feb. 16 and March 9. A survey will be presented for options on making up the other two days.