A Steep Learning Curve and Not Much Time

by David Tarleton, Education Director


This was a very interesting school year at PYC Arts & Technology High School, to say the least. 

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge our Student Engagement Team, Social Work Team and our teachers for their amazing capacity to navigate uncharted waters.

What started out as a normal year did not finish that way at all.  In February, as we became more aware of the xxxx of the COVID pandemic, we began talking about teachers using Google Classroom as a means of delivering instruction, and as a way for students to engage from home.  At that time, we had a few teachers who used the program but most of the teachers were starting fresh. We had a steep learning curve and not much time.

In April, as school resumed after winter break, we were scrambling to connect students with technology – either checking out one of our Chromebooks to students or getting them one from the district. We were working hard to get technology into the hands of our students and this included delivering Chromebook and hotspots to the students’ homes.  At the same time, we were mailing out packets to students who had not yet received their technology to make sure that they had work as the new quarter got underway.

So, what are some of the lessons we have learned?

  • We need to reach out to students – early and often.
  • Students were most active in the evening and late at night.
  • Students struggled with navigating the technology more than we expected.
  • Student learning styles and preferences became more apparent the longer they were engaged in distance learning.
  • Providing social work services and meeting the mental health needs of students was very difficult.

What will the upcoming school year look like?

  • We’re currently planning for 3 different options, including regular, everyday face-to- face classes; distance learning like we xxxx this past spring, and a hybrid where students come to school in smaller numbers, one to two times a week, combined with distance learning. We will be ready to switch from one scenario to another at any time.
  • Health plans will be put into place for those times we are in session. (???JZ?)
  • We’ll create more online, interactive resources for students.
  • We will incorporate use of new learning spaces at the Capri
  • We will raise the bar with engaging students in their education.
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