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Live classes, real grades: How and why Denver is changing online learning this fall

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School began in Denver on Monday the same way it ended three months ago: fully online. But district leaders are promising a more robust program than the “crisis schooling” that many students experienced when buildings shuttered due to COVID-19 in the spring.

Jayla Hemphill had very little face time with her high school teachers in April and May.

Instead of being in class for seven hours a day, she had a couple of video calls a week. If she had a question, she could chat with a teacher and be off within 15 minutes. Even though her teachers posted her weekly assignments on Monday, Hemphill said she usually wouldn’t do them until Thursday and Friday, essentially giving her a five-day weekend.

Hemphill liked the flexibility. It allowed the 16-year-old to get a part-time job making pizzas, watch her little brother while her mom worked nights, and get more involved in political activism.

But not everyone liked the leeway of Denver Public Schools’ approach to remote learning. Some students and parents wished schools had provided more real-time online teaching.

“We think any live interaction is better than self-guided tasks,” said Darren Malia, who along with his wife helped his two young children navigate remote learning. “If they’re ‘live’ with a teacher for an hour or two, that’s an hour or two that we can do the things we need to do.”




-Chalkbeat Colorado, Melanie Asmar

Other Articles

Virtual suspensions. Mask rules. More trauma. Why some worry a student discipline crisis is on the horizon

Keeping students safe in Denver area schools as coronavirus lurks is a delicate dance Denver Post

COVID-19 case reported at DougCo elementary school, forcing entire grade to quarantine 9 News

Douglas County schools delay launch of online instruction for high school students Colorado Community Media

Colorado Springs schools recognize challenges — and opportunities — in next round of openings Gazette


Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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