Lyons Township High School has made a few changes to its remote learning schedule to add more structure as the institution prepares for the first day of classes on Aug. 20.
Under the new schedule, students will attend online classes five days a week instead of four, and class periods will be 75 minutes instead of 60, Tuesday through Friday.
The new plan calls for all classes to meet virtually on Mondays for 35 minutes each. For the remainder of the week, classes will meet for 75 minutes.
“We want to strike a balance, but then give students a chance to work, or get feedback, or work in small groups in a Zoom, those types of things, so it’s a little more structured,” said Scott Eggerding, the director of curriculum and instruction at LTHS.
Each class will meet three times a week, one 35-minute period and two 75-minute periods. During all these periods, teachers are expected to be online interacting their students and students are expected to be attending their classes virtually.
Attendance will be taken. Grades will also count and normal assessments will be given unlike the emergency remote learning that took place last spring.
“We expect students to be engaged in their classes,” Eggerding said. “In the spring it wasn’t unusual for one third of the class to show up.”
Teachers will be encouraged but not required to teach from their classrooms. Last spring teachers had to teach from home. Teachers have trained for the past week in how to teach remotely.
In a video question-and-answer session with parents last week, LTHS Superintendent Tim Kilrea said that plans will evolve as the school year moves along.
“This is a global pandemic; there is no playbook here,” Kilrea said. “We are doing our best.”
Kilrea said he hopes that conditions will evolve to allow as many students as possible to attend school in person at least part of the time.
“We want to go to hybrid as soon as we can,” Kilrea said. “We miss our students and look forward to their return.”