Giving Compass’ Take:
• Eleanore Catolico, at Chalkbeat Detroit, describes the plethora of technological, mental health, and overall learning issues Detroit schools have experienced with remote learning.
• What is this telling us about the need for crucial planning and flexibility during remote learning? How can you support struggling students in your own community throughout the coronavirus?
• Detroit schools aren’t the only ones struggling with remote learning. Read more about widespread tech issues across the U.S.
The Detroit district is creating focus groups and expanding its technical support hotline to address a number of complaints that have poured in since the first day of school about too much screen time for students and many technology glitches.
The complaints have come in online and filled the public comment period of the district’s school board meeting Tuesday, where dozens of teachers, community organizers, students, and parents shared their frustrations and anger.
Over the last few days, Chalkbeat spoke with both district and charter students, parents, and teachers. In the district, 75% of the students are learning online.
Among those who spoke at the district board meeting was Ama Russell, a Cass Technical High School senior, who complained of sitting in front of a computer screen for eight hours a day. On Friday, she said, her eyes started burning after class.
“This is absolutely horrible…our mental health is deteriorating,” said Russell, who demanded an immediate change to the way the district is scheduling online classes.
Across Michigan, 86% of schools provide some form of in-person learning, but it’s unclear exactly how many students statewide are learning online and how many are learning in schools.
The first two weeks of online learning have indeed been rocky for eighth-grader Anaya Thomas, who attends University Prep Science and Math Middle School, a charter school. On the second day of virtual learning, Anaya’s morning algebra class had an unwelcome visitor: an apparent teenager who entered the virtual room and started “screaming, cussing and playing music” during the teacher’s lecture.
“I’m a little bit afraid of what two months, three months, or six months of this is gonna do,” said her mother Angela Lugo-Thomas. “The novelty is starting to wear off already.”
Read the full article about Detroit schools during remote learning by Eleanore Catolico at Chalkbeat Detroit.
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