Hey, there! Log in / Register

With a year of online teaching experience, Boston considers setting up an online school for September

BPS is considering setting up an online-only school for the coming school year, and is asking parents if they'd be interested in that.

The survey does not specify which grades BPS is looking at, but parents are asked what grades their kids are currently in.

Students will receive a computer and internet, if needed, in order to engage with their lessons, projects, peers, and teachers. There may be some opportunities for in-person engagement with classmates, either for special occasions, specific projects, or extracurricular activities.

BPS cautions that an online-only school would require approval of state educational officials - and adds that answering the survey will not affect students' positions at their current schools.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:

Comments

I like it. It has already been proven that it works for some so why not. If it doesn't work for you and yours don't do it.

up
Voting closed 44

Any parent of school age kids (hi there) will tell you this. We've all had to grin and bear it as our kids just went through a lost year in their education. Of course we had to, no doubt about that, but continuing it just so you can try to claim a moral high ground is selfish.

This group will of course say "where's the data to back up your claim?" That of course will come in the following years as standardized testing reveals kids got about half an education in 2020-21. The State just committed $70m to summer school to make up for "learning loss during the pandemic". In a vacuum and extra $70m for education is a great thing, but I'm sure some will find fault with it.

up
Voting closed 2

I think this is a decent idea for next school year since there will likely be families that still have good reasons not to send their children to in-person school because of COVID. However, once there is really clear data that schools are safe, online schools are very problematic for public school systems. Some students may do better with online learning, but most do not and I fear what will happen to them.

up
Voting closed 10

I'd figure that the most would know they don't do well with online schooling - or their parents and teachers would - and they would do in-person schooling instead. The most will still have that option.

Not providing an option for the some because it doesn't suit the most isn't a very good solution.

up
Voting closed 40

online schools are very problematic for public school systems

Citation and elaboration needed.

up
Voting closed 22

Many colleges and universities have moved to having online courses (you often have a choice between in person and online). It works for them, why not younger kids?

up
Voting closed 12

First, we're not talking about colleges and universities, we're talking about K-12.

Second, families may opt to keep their kids home because they can babysit other siblings. Or maybe they are overprotective of their kids and think being home is better for them. Or maybe some parents would rather not have to do pick up or drop off or they find it easier when they have appointments. Maybe some parents abuse their children and would rather keep them home to hide it.

I believe all parents love their children and usually have their best interests in mind, but it's truly hard for parents to know what type of learner their child is or how they do best in school. There are private and inexpensive options for online learning that parents can choose if they like (some only cost $20 a month), but a public school option is problematic- with a system that already has unequal resources and often pushes out students they don't want - an online system seems like a widening of a crack for students to fall through instead of the other way around.

up
Voting closed 18

First, we're not talking about colleges and universities, we're talking about K-12.

Ok care to share some references on why this would be different other than anecdotal data?

And as far as the rest.. many of these things could happen with online school or not. But...

Maybe some parents abuse their children and would rather keep them home to hide it.

So I guess its OK for those kids to miss school because they are being abused. At least with Online School, learning might continue., And it might give a teacher an insight into a child's home life (i.e. no camera, kid tired, unkept, etc etc). Verses skipping school or playing 'cover up" so the kid can go to school. And that computer may give a lifeline to the outside when bad things happen that didn't happen before.

I just fail to see this argument.

I'd also like to add that I myself went to an alternative school for most of my high school. The classes were different, and self driven. I often did work at home (because it was allowed). I excelled at this vs standard classes.

I fail to see why this wouldn't offered to kids who would rather learn this way. Remember, there's a no 'one size fits all' to learning.

up
Voting closed 14

It's illegal to keep a kid out of school - the idea is an abusive parent could hide their abuse by having their child "attend" online school. The majority of child abuse reports come from schools, so it's a legitimate concern.

up
Voting closed 6

Did I sleep through homeschooling being outlawed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

up
Voting closed 19

The two statewide fully online public charter schools that have been operating for years?

As others have said, no one is forcing students to attend online school indefinitely. Students who do better in traditional schools can keep attending those. But online schools are great for students who have chronic illness, are bullied, have anxiety, are training seriously for a sport or musical instrument, etc., and whose parents don’t feel equipped to personally homeschool them 100%.

up
Voting closed 6

Most abuse reports are false and most substantiated reports are neglect, which means things like school-aged kids walking to school or someone not liking how someone speaks to their child.

The fearmongering that the mostly-poor/mostly-not-white children involved with CPS would no longer be safe without white middle-class eyes on them was just fearmongering. None of it proved true: https://youthtoday.org/2020/04/covid-19-surfaces-child-welfares-ugly-bia...

Not educating children is illegal, because children have a right to be educated. The law says nothing about whether this has to be a public school or an in-person public school. Courts have determined that parents can choose any type of schooling or homeschooling for their children. And most homeschooled children are active in activities and out and about in the neighborhood after school just like everyone else. The number of families who claim to homeschool in order to severely abuse their children is tiny. It makes national news when it’s discovered, because it’s extremely rare. Most homeschooled kids have very average lives. And I would think that pro-surveillance folks like you would prefer kids attending online public school and regularly interacting with public school teachers rather than being homeschooled.

up
Voting closed 5

Maybe some parents abuse their children and would rather keep them home to hide it.

And maybe some schools are abusive situations for some children. LGBTQ youth in particular are much more likely to find school a dangerous hellscape.

up
Voting closed 16

Nope - as a college teacher experiencing this over the past year - remote learning is not very good at all - especially for weak students. Without the visual connection, it is much harder to see if a student understands the discussion content. It is easier to 'check-out' with video off, too. Most students do not like it either.

It is popular for the wrong reasons. The only supporting arguments out there seem to be convenience which isn't actually referring to educational quality and for serving those who cannot be in a classroom to learn.

Administrators: stop fooling yourselves.

up
Voting closed 11

Were you educating students who typically attended in-person and whose lives were a sudden unpredictable stressfest?

Or were you educating students who chose online schooling because it was the best fit and who were able to have a quiet dedicated learning space and who had their households running on their usual routines?

I’ve been a parent of intentionally online K-12 students and have taught online higher ed and been a telehealth clinician since well before COVID. It was completely different when it was all folks who chose it and whose households were running normally. While I have no doubt you did as well as you could, the experiences of people forced into COVID online learning really don’t speak to what the field is like on a normal basis.

up
Voting closed 7

The problems include schools' ability to implement them affectively (which has greatly improved in the pandemic) and the ability a teachers to offer students with special needs the services they are legally entitled to.

Online schooling is much cheaper than in person so there could be an incentive for schools to offer this in place of in person learning to students who have health disabilities or behavioral issues in place of making the kinds of accommodations they are normally obligated to.

There's a place for it, parents should just be waring of how and when its used.

up
Voting closed 2

And though I agree with you that for the vast majority of high school kids, in person is the best, this is something that is being done. I couldn't track down the exact program I am thinking of, but Washington State has many online programs.

up
Voting closed 3

has two statewide fully online public charter schools. And several districts have online options as well

up
Voting closed 5

One great reason to have a permenant online curriculum in a major school district is that there are kids with chronic (non-Covid) conditions who end up missing multiple semesters/whole school years because they aren’t well enough to get on a bus or the T, spend all day at school, and then commute back home.

I read an account of a woman who suffers from endometriosis who missed a lot of high school because of the ailment. She said she would have loved the opportunity to learn while recovering at home. If an online curriculum can be adapted to minimize or eliminate missed time for students facing a serious health issue, then it would be criminal not develop such a program.

up
Voting closed 63

and waive testing, that may satisfy a lot of parents

up
Voting closed 19

As one of his last thing that the governor governor Patrick authorized online schools a long time ago. Online education is already been authorized under such venues like K12 Incorporated. I believe there's a bit of an office somewhere in Greenfield..

The criteria to be eligible for for covid was either a child has been bullied, bullying, too sick to come in, had some sort of work requirement like acting or farming etc. It could be argued that snow days could also have been a progression of this since if the school keeps physically open that does not mean that there's a lack of assignments for the students to do in the inability to show that they have been completed.

Now it's online education has expanded much more. Due to this the likelihood that it would go away is slim to none.

Of course the bigger issue here is that if you were do something simply being online than the idea that it would be implemented anywhere becomes a bit iffy. In other words what's the purpose of an actual School District if any student can receive the same as education with zero marginal cost. So that means you could get a 128 belt education anywhere. Metco might dissolve.

This is why some real estate agents are against online schools. Once you factor education out prices could drop.

up
Voting closed 8

Adam, go back through your archive and and review all the negative reports on BPS online learning.

up
Voting closed 8