Elementary Online Academy Staffing changes
Nov 3, 2020
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In the next couple of days, Online Academy (OA) parents and students will once again get unsettling news - their teacher has been changed, their class has been split and their teacher has changed, or their class size grew significantly.
Why? How did we get here?
A major reason we are here is that for the passed decade or so, LSR7 has consistently had high student to teacher ratios. There simply aren't enough teachers on staff to have smaller class sizes. When COVID forced the district to have smaller class sizes at for K-3, they stuffed OA classes with 30+ students. They also allowed 4-6 in person class sizes to grow to over 30, thinking that the hybrid component of the plan could allow for around 15 kids in a room.
Now Dr. Buck has bucked science and decided to put so many kids in a room that social distancing is impossible. We are back to having to shuffle staff so those class sizes of 34, 35, 36, become class sizes of 24, 25, 26. This will also disrupt current in person class cultures.
Where will the staff come from? The Online Academy, 12 to be specific, 8 new hires, and talks are happening of pulling Reading Specialists, AIM/ASPIRE teachers, and Library Media Specialists.
OA teachers were given 5 options: Stay in OA. Leave the OA and teach their grade level in person at their building. Leave the OA and teach any grade level in person in their building. Leave the OA and teach their grade level in person at any building. Leave the OA and teach in person, any grade level, any building. The district, where they could, honored those requests and OA parents shouldn't be lied to in the coming days from SLC or their teachers about why they are getting shuffled to a new teacher, getting a new teacher, or why their class size grew.
12 chose to walk away from the Online Academy. For whatever reason, teaching online is hard, OA teachers didn't have "their" attendance area kids, preference to teach in person, etc., teachers (selfishly) walked away from relationships.
Who knows what kind of teacher your kid will get? New to teaching? Any experience with Schoology? Let's hope not.
This shouldn't be how LSR7 treats kids or its staff. It is time to demand for adequate class sizes and a teaching staff surplus.