All-virtual option for students available for new school year

The online schooling will be a different experience than the spring, says superintendent

APRIL HELMS Reporter

NORTHFIELD CENTER — Part of the district’s plan for reopening allows families to select an online only option. Families selecting that option must commit to the entire semester. There will be an option to change before the start of the new semester, but families must commit the district is pulling some teachers from their regular assignments to focus on digital learning.

“We cannot transfer constantly from a personnel standpoint,” said Superintendent Joe Clark.

This option is different from what students experienced during remote learning last spring, Clark said.

This school year, an outside vendor will be used for setup, but the teachers will be from the Nordonia Hills schools. The online curriculum “will meet the same standards as our Nordonia City Schools curriculum, but it will not necessarily match the same pacing or activities that are delivered in school buildings,” Clark said.

“Students taking all of their courses online will not be in the same classes or have the same teachers as those attending classes in the buildings,” he explained.

One key difference is that the online learning option will be asynchronous, Clark said. This will allow flexibility for the families, but one thing Clark stressed is that families should set up some form of schedule.

“Make sure there is a routine,” Clark said. “It will be vitally important to set up a routine. If you allow students to make up their own routine, they might struggle a bit.”

Students will have access to courses in all core areas — English language arts, mathematics, sciences, and social studies — and also will have limited access to special area courses for kindergarten through sixth, and elective courses for seventh through 12th grade.

Nordonia teachers will make sure their students are signing in, and will be available twice a day for office hours to talk about concerns with assignments, Clark said. These classes will be graded.

At least once a week, teachers will have full- class discussions on assignments, he added. Students will be able to socialize, and if there is an area the students are struggling, teachers “can do an online lesson.”

If state or local regulations require a school closure, students participating in this option will continue as scheduled, and will continue to use the online curriculum and platform, Clark said.

Clark said that students may continue to participate in any available after-school activities.

“You are still Nordonia Knights, you can still participate in activities, in extracurricular events,” he said. “We hope one day to have school dances and PTA events again. I don’t expect we will have a whole lot of school events at first because of this.”

Families wishing to participate in the second option of all-online school will be provided Chromebooks, and will receive assistance wifi access if needed, Clark said.