RANDOLPH, NJ- According to a private Facebook Board of Education resident group chat, last night there were a number of questions on the Virtual BOE Meeting regarding Randolph's move to virtual learning. After a personal call from Jonathan Olsen, Director of Secondary education for 7-12 the following questions were answered as such according to a FB Post:
According to Eliza Schleifstein , "My husband has nothing but praise for Mr. Olsen. He was open, constructive, honest, cooperative and focused on solving the problem. He understands the parents' level of frustration and that they have been put in a situation they never wanted to be in."
QUESTION 1: When can we expect to get virtual learning and why can we be like the districts who are on Google classroom by tomorrow?
Mr. Olsen stated that they expect to have Virtual learning up and running by week 3, but that is not a guarantee, they need to beta test and ensure it will work and have access to it. It will be triaged with the top priority on the high school and the middle school, expanding from there. He stated that it was a major priority at this point.
In terms of Google Classroom, that is not an option because the District has selected Microsoft as preferred platform,
Mr. Olsen stated that the districts that are up and running have been working on it for days or weeks and people should not expect a 24-hour turnaround. They are working as fast as they can and are trying to get up us and running as quickly as possible. For the districts that have Google classroom, Mr. Olsen said that he did not know which ones they were, what their resources were, what the existing state of their technology was, what issues are unique to us that they don't have and numerous other details that our district was unaware of in order to get a synchronous learning up and running.
Mr. Olsen stated that this extended closure was totally unexpected and there wasn't a lot of time to deal with it, but again repeated that they are devoting time and resources and are making getting our children back learning a priority.
QUESTION 2: AP exams
They understand the importance of this. They know that two weeks is already a huge loss for these kids and Mr. Olsen said that they have no idea what each AP teacher is doing right now so there may be instances where the students are continuing on track.
Mr. Olsen said that he has been in touch with the College Board and they are considering everything from mailing students an unproctored exam that has to be returned in 24 hours by a postmark to numerous other options
QUESTION 3: Do we know what school buildings may be involved with the recent confirmed diagnoses (e.g children of parents etc).
Mr. Olsen stated that they do not have any information on that.
QUESTION 4:What to do with children who have completed all take home assignments?
Mr. Olsen said anyone in that situation should contact teachers, advise them that they are done with the assignments and see what additional work can be done.
Mr. Olsen stated that unless parents regularly interact with the teachers, he, the other directors of education, the principals and the teachers will have no idea of the gaps that are being created and the fact that the children are not receiving an appropriate amount and level of learning. If it is just one or two kids, it may be that they need supplemental work, but that if it is a ground swell from any one class, the teacher will need to revisit the curriculum.
This article and additional articles will be updated as improvements are made to the current situation.