Why Central Will Continue in Current Modality
All Central classes (Academy and Campus) will continue in their current modality. Virtual classes will continue to be virtual and hybrid classes will continue to be hybrid. It is the only way we can continue to offer the full range of courses that we are currently offering.
If a family chose in-person for their home school classes, they could still participate in their Academy classes virtually. This may be the best compromise for those needing in person and wanting Academy courses. The Academy staff is aware that some students will need some accommodation for their travel situation if they are spending part of their day in-person and part virtually. Home schools are creating spaces for students to attend virtual classes while at school.
We’ve had to make so many difficult choices this year. For example, with the contraction of the high school course catalog this year to stretch staff to support social distancing and safe in-person learning at the high schools, we removed restrictions on the Academy master schedule needed for transportation. Normally, we put a student’s Academy classes together on their schedule so they can move efficiently between buildings. Those restrictions limit which classes are available to students each period. By removing those restrictions, we have greater flexibility to accommodate the needs of more students and provide more choices for students across the district. Our enrollment this year is the second largest in the history of the Academy program.
But removing those transportation restrictions means that an in-person schedule is not possible. And if we re-wrote our master schedule to restore those restrictions, it would negatively impact hundreds of students. Even if we were willing to end the Academy enrollment for so many students to accommodate in-person learning, we would have to change every students’ class schedule and many teachers’ assigned courses (many would have to change the courses that they are teaching). Because the Academy staff is so small, if we tried to accommodate both modalities, it would further necessitate restricting our course offerings.
Most Academy families we serve have chosen the virtual modality. Approximately 82% of semester grades issued for Term 1 and Term 2 classes at Academy have been a B or higher. It’s been difficult but, for most, it has been manageable.
We want to get back to in-person classes. But it was a higher priority to provide as many opportunities for advanced work as possible. We did not want to eliminate course offerings, reduce seats available in classes, or create scheduling snarls that would force hard choices about courses already in progress. We are actively working to create accommodations for individual needs within the constraints needed to support the majority.