Is your district planning remote learning? Here are tips from online educators

Originally aired on Fox Denver – July 23, 2020

The state’s two largest school districts will begin the school year online, with Jeffco Public Schools joining Denver Public Schools in an announcement Thursday.

The decision has parents across the state feeling anxious and nervous after a number of remote learning hiccups this past spring. 

But online learning, while mostly new to most major school districts, has been happening in Colorado for more than a decade. 

“We know that students can be successful in the online school,” says Nicole Tiley. 

Tiley is the Head of School for Colorado Preparatory Academy, an online school with roughly 2,500 students. 

Tiley says the curriculum is tailored to each student’s needs, with some attending “live” online classes more than others.

“Two students might be in the same grade, but their schedules won’t look exactly the same.”

Parents across Colorado expressed frustration at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, with some blaming districts for leaving assignment due dates and expectations up in the air. 

Tiley says it’s important to have deadlines and structure, and to provide daily check-ins with students.

Some students at Colorado Preparatory Academy receive daily calls from advisors and teachers, something Tiley recommends districts consider. 

“Structure is important,” says Tiley. “Students need structure. They need to know certain times that if they need help with their lessons, that there is a certain time they can go in and get that live instruction and support from a teacher.”

Tiley has the following advice for parents: 

  • Check in daily with your child. What did they spend the day working on? How did it go? 
  • Set daily and weekly deadlines.
  • If you work, let your child work on something they’re passionate about while you’re in meetings, on the phone, etc. Then, make sure someone is available for a course that is difficult or less interesting to the student.
  • Attend every “live” online class offered by the district. 
  • Set up Zoom/Skype calls with other students to encourage engagement and interaction. 

To learn more about Colorado Preparatory Academy visit: https://cpa.k12.com/

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