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Tidioute Charter getting students laptops, iPads ‘as needed’

Tidioute Community Charter School is shifting from enrichment to planned instruction.

Chief Educational Officer Dr. Doug Allen told the Times Observer that the plan is to make the switch on April 20.

Acknowledging that it is unclear when students will be returning, he said in a virtual board meeting on Wednesday that “my best guess is that students are not returning to the building in May.”

“We think students will appreciate more specific lessons assuming schools do not open by April 30th,” Allen told the Times Observer. ” Many of our parents are suggesting that we go this direction to keep grading alive to some extent and allow kids to increase (or) improve grades from the last grades received which was on March 16, 2020.

“I’m excited because I think kids miss school.”

Part of that effort is getting needed technological resources in student’s hands.

“TCCS will be distributing technology to families on an ‘as needed’ basis on April 13th and April 15th,” according to a post on the school’s Facebook page. “To prepare students and families for instruction and learning at home in the near future, we want to ensure that all students have their necessary tools and materials, including an iPad, Chromebook or a calculator.”

Pickup for those items is scheduled for Monday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The school is willing to arrange additional times for those who can’t make the set pick-ups and will also work to arrange delivery where needed.

Anyone who does not need a school device because appropriate technological resources are available at home are asked to inform the school.

Allen explained that TCCS teachers have been using Google Classroom for three years and will utilize that avenue to provide instruction.

“TCCS will grade assignments but we are calling/emailing students weekly to check on kids’ progress,” he said.

“Our teachers have been great.”

The lessons will be available for pickup or mailed to students who do not have internet connectivity at home.

“TCCS estimates out of 300 K4-12 TCCS kids in Titusville, Forest, WCSD and two in Meadville, approximately 35 percent will be offline mailed packets,” Allen said. “We are considering equity issues, monitoring connectivity for students from four school districts and planning for IEP students and using the time from now to April 20th to get ready.”

Allen explained that the “beauty of our charter is going to try to do this” with individual attention “in mind.”

During Wednesday’s board meeting, the board agreed to maintain graduation as May 29.

Staff is preparing a virtual option should gathering for commencement not be permissible but no final decision on that was made at this time.

The board also signed off on the continuity of education plan outlined by administration and to continue with the ongoing meal program.

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