This is how Lafayette Online Academy’s virtual learning will work this school year | Education

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As parents assess their concerns about the children’s return to school next month, questions have been asked about the Lafayette Online Academy.

Last week, Lafayette Parish Schools announced that students would return to school on August 17 in a hybrid online and in-person format, where K-12 students are split into two groups that alternate between face-to-face classes on their campuses. Lafayette Online Academy is the virtual option offered by LPSS for parents who do not wish to send their children to physical classrooms due to fears related to the coronavirus.

The online program was launched four years ago and last year the program served approximately 200 K-12 students and approximately 40 students graduated.

To date, over 4,500 applications have been received for the fall semester.

To answer parents’ questions, Justin Centanni, member of the Lafayette Parish School Board, Jarrett Coutee, Director of the Lafayette Online Academy, Superintendent Irma Trosclair and other LPSS leaders hosted a question-and-answer video session. -answer at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The video is archived and can be viewed on the district’s “LPSS Meetings” YouTube channel. Here is a summary of some of the topics covered.

What is the difference between the “virtual learning” that some schools offered in the spring and Lafayette Online Academy?

In the spring, some teachers provided optional courses via videoconferences and Google Classroom. The Online Academy is completely separate. It does not offer live instruction. It is a self-guided teaching thanks to pre-recorded video modules on the Edgenuity platform.

How to apply for the academy online?

Interested families should complete their application online at onlinelafayette.com. Applications will be sent to a student’s “home school” where the student is currently enrolled. The deadline to apply is August 3, but student transfers will be considered throughout the school year.

Will there be teacher support?

For students with questions, certified teachers will be available by email, phone calls, or video calls. Trosclair said each base school is in the process of identifying an online teacher or facilitator who will be available for support.

How will attendance be managed for LOA students?

Student activity will be time-stamped and monitored. Typically, Kindergarten to Grade 8 students will be expected to work approximately five to six hours per day. High school students will be expected to work approximately seven to eight hours per day. There will be a daily quota of videos and quizzes. If the quota is not reached, this day is marked absent. However, students will have the option of catching up with work by the following Monday and canceling the absence.

How will the school system meet IT / Internet needs?

The Edgenuity platform will work on desktops and laptops, as well as iPads. The district will provide Chromebooks to students who need them; parents should contact the student’s base school to request a Chromebook. Internet connectivity was not specifically discussed during the question-and-answer session, and it could be a stumbling block for many families. Recent studies show that only 69% of households in Louisiana have access to the Internet. One option that has been used in other districts is to install Wi-Fi on school buses to help students who lack connection, but it is not known if this will be an option in Lafayette.

What courses will be available?

K-2 students will be enrolled in English and Mathematics. Other subjects can be offered for enrichment. Students in Grades 3 to 5 will be enrolled in Mathematics, Reading / Language, Science, Social Studies and Physical Education. Middle school students will be enrolled in Mathematics, English, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and PE. High school students will work with counselors to determine their courses. A limited number of advanced placement courses will be offered. Double enrollment classes will not be. Although language immersion courses are not offered, immersion students will have access to language enrichment programs.

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What about Magnet Academy students?

Although some specialist courses are available, the study program will be limited. Language immersion, for example, will not be offered. The performing arts program does not translate easily into a virtual platform, either. However, Magnet Academy students who choose to participate in the online academy this year will not lose their place in their current academies.

How will the LOA approach individual education plans or housing needed for special education students? What about gifted and talented students?

The LSPP is still working to determine how best to meet the needs of students with special needs. Some accommodation, such as extra time to take tests, translates easily to the online platform. Special education director Holly Ortego said staff are currently being trained to virtually offer other special education services. Although there is no specific program for the gifted / talented, students will be assessed and may receive more advanced courses. Enrichment classes will also be available for gifted / talented students in Grades 1 through 8.

What about students who take the Jumpstart course and go to the Career Center?

Trosclair said the LPSS is still trying to determine whether students will be able to take the practical classes at the career center.

What about extra-curricular activities?

Students of the online academy will be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities at their base schools.

How will the LEAP tests be administered?

In previous years, LOA carried out standardized tests in the central office of the school system. With the increase in the number of registrations, the tests may be moved to the students’ base school.

How will the Accelerated Reader tests be administered via LOA?

The accelerated reader will not be offered in the online academy.

Will meals be available for LOA students?

Yes. Take-out meals will be available for pickup from student base schools. Administrators are still working out schedules and other details.

Can LOA students move to schools in person during the year or are they stuck for a certain length of time?

Initially, the school system said students enrolled in the academy would not be allowed to return to their traditional base school until the end of the semester in January. However, Trosclair said, if a student is having difficulty in the online academy, they will be assessed after the first nine weeks and could then make the switch.


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