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ABCUSD’s Learning at Home Program Getting Good Grades

BY TAMMYE MCDUFF

As many students, parents and school districts adjust to a new way of teaching and learning, the ABC Unified School District, almost seamlessly, made the transition to on line learning at home.

Teachers have prepared themselves to deliver instruction in a variety of models that best fit the needs of the classrooms. Back in March when most school districts were struggling to ensure that students continued learning, ABC put their Online Learning at Home program (OLAH) into full operation. 

OLAH is a ‘fully online classroom model’ utilizing Google Classroom and the Google Ecosystem, as well as blended models that involve physical, hands-on resources distributed by teachers that will supplement online learning in Google Classroom.

“We had our IT team working on getting everything put together, it looked like the inside of Apollo 13. It was pretty incredible. You can’t just move everything to online. You have to have the curriculum set up, train teachers how to use the program properly, have the right computers and hot spots set up … it was a fascinating process,” admits Scott Smith, Communications Officer for ABC, “we closed the schools on March 13th and by the following Thursday, we were ready to go.”

This OLAH program was developed by the ABC district. Not even LAUSD has this advantage. HMG was told that the State basically told all school districts to close, but continue to educate the children and ‘you figure out how to do it’. 

Because the district had already integrated the use of the Technology Integration Project (TIP), to give a one-to-one student to device ratio, the district was able to loan out 4,000 chrome books to students who needed them. For those students who did not have internet access, the district was able to provide almost 1,000 internet hot spots. 

TIP teachers integrate mobile devices into daily teaching and learning using appropriate technology resources to enhance workflow, productivity and communications.  Integration includes the use of Project Based Learning (PBL) tools that supports the California State Standards.

In October 2015, the ABC Technology Board Advisory Hoc Committee submitted recommendations to the Board of Education that identified six elements required for successful implementation: devices, software, infrastructure, technical support, professional development and 21st century classrooms. 

By the second semester of 2016, 29 schools had commenced their TIP projects.

“Because we had already integrated TIP, we were able to move ahead quickly to institute online learning,” added Smith. “It has been super impressive how the district was able to organize and implement each grade level objectives for the end of this school year.” He added that the district wants to be able to promote everyone, but more than that, students need to be ready to go on to the next grade level.

As far as graduations are concerned, HMG was told that there are several committees that are looking at graduation situations, and ideas will be submitted to the Board of Trustees next mont`1h.

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