Here we have the second part of this series. The first part focused upon The Prince William County Schools View.
The View From Our Local Newspapers
There actually is not much news about the Prince William County Schools (PWCS) home learning program available from local news sources. Disappointing, but the Coronavirus (COVID-19) does seem to be around. Email from Prince William County Schools regarding Stonewall Middle School food service worker who tested positive or COVID-19 (princewilliamtimes.com) tells us about someone who works for PWCS who got the virus.
PWCS Superintendent Outlines Extended Distance Learning Plan During COVID-19 Closure (bristowbeat.com) provides a good summary of what School Superintendent Walts had planned on Apr 2nd. Since students will not receive grades, PWCS obviously does not much confidence in its homeschooling efforts.
The students final grades for the year will be an average of the first three marking periods in each of their subjects or classes. There will be no fourth marking period that is graded and no final exams.
PWCS is being very lenient in allowing students to improve their grades by extending the third marking period until April 24.
Teachers should not grade any material they assigned after March 13. They must accept late work and redoes. Teachers may also factor in supplemental assignments from the unofficial fourth marking period if they increase the student’s grade.
“Student’s grades will only be able to go up from where they were on March 13,” Walts said.
The “fourth quarter” will be ungraded. “All students will be able to continue to submit optional work.” Teachers will provide feedback rather than grades. They are encouraged to provide review material and enrichment material, not busy work. (from here (bristowbeat.com))
WTOP tells us, Prince William Co. school official plans to keep students on track for graduation (wtop.com). At the end of March, the School Board wanted to spend $10 million so that they could buy 27,000 computers for high school students. Several days latter PWCS ordered some computers, Prince William schools order 15,500 laptops in rush toward online instruction (insidenova.com). These laptops should be here and configured in May. In other words, PWCS is still getting things working.
I was able to find only one story written from the viewpoint of a Prince William County parent, Parents adapt as classrooms move to the kitchen table (insidenova.com).
Kelly Valko has six children, including four in Prince William County Public Schools. With only one laptop and limited internet access, her Nokesville family has struggled to adapt to online instruction.
On top of that, three of her children receive additional support in school through individualized education programs. With schools closed, those resources are cut off, Valko said. (from here (insidenova.com))
Are there problems? Here is a story written by the Associated Press (AP), “I just can’t do this.” Harried parents forgo home school (wtop.com). That story is written from a national viewpoint.
Frustration is mounting as more families across the U.S. enter their second or even third week of distance learning — and some overwhelmed parents say it will be their last. (continued here (wtop.com))
Students who are old enough and disciplined enough may be able to find other options to continue learning. Here is an example, NOVA Community College Offers Tuition-free Online Summer Classes for HS Graduates, Rising Seniors (bristowbeat.com).
Every situation offers an opportunity to laugh. Here is a bit of local humor, Firefighters Have to Pull Teen Out of Washing Machine During Game of Hide and Seek Gone Wrong (rare.us).
Unfortunately, a tax increase is coming. Here are several articles.
- Supervisors approve flat-tax-rate budget that raises vehicle, data center taxes (princewilliamtimes.com)
- Prince William BOCS Adopts Flat Tax Rate, but Taxes Bills Will Increase (bristowbeat.com)
- Prince William approves tax hike amid coronavirus shutdown, job losses (potomaclocal.com)
On Tuesday night, The Prince William Board of County Supervisors adopted its annual budget and a Real Estate tax rate of $1.125 per $100 of assessed value for Fiscal Year 2021. The new budget also comes with a series of higher taxes and fees, including a fire levy rate of $0.0800 per $100 valuation on all real estate and restricts these funds for fire and rescue purposes.
The average family’s residential tax bill will increase by $177 more than what residents paid the last year, bringing the average bill up to $4,664. (from here (potomaclocal.com))
What Is To Come?
- Observations: This post will focus on the differences between “home learning” and “at school learning”.
We request your comments.
Since we are all somewhat isolated at home, we are overly dependent on Google and other search engines. Therefore, if you find this post and you have your own observations or know of some links that are relevant, please post a comment. Note that your first comment on this blog will be moderated.