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Many questions have been asked since last week’s school board meeting in which the board voted to approve a third option for our families to choose from as a re-entry model for the upcoming school year.  I applaud the board in making this decision because it allows more flexibility for our families, protects funding for our schools and allows us to retain more of our talented BHS staff.  This doesn’t mean the decision is not still a tough one to make.  My wife and I are still pondering the right decision for our own children.  Below you will find a listing of Q&A items that have been asked of me most often since Friday’s decision.  A full listing of Q&A items can be found on the OCPS website
https://www.ocps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=54703&pageId=1457563

 

Many parents have asked me, “Which option do you think we should choose”?  My answer is this:

 

  1. If you and your student are comfortable choosing the face-to-face option, then do so.
    1. Why?  I do not believe there is any true replacement for teaching and learning which measures up to the face-to-face experience.  We are getting better at digital learning every day, but it simply isn’t the same. 
  2. If you’re not comfortable with this option, I would choose [email protected]
    1. Why?  Year after year I say it as loud as I can, “Boone High School has the most talented teachers in the state of Florida and in many cases the US.”  In the [email protected] model, our students get to keep their BHS teachers and learn while in the safety and comfort of their own home.  This option will be better than distance learning in many facets and additionally allows us to receive normal funding from the state to retain our staff until we are able to return all students to a normal school day. [email protected] requires students to log in in “real-time” and attend their classes through the normal bell schedule.
  3. If neither of those options works for you and your student, then I suggest OCVS (Orange County Virtual School)
    1. Why?  OCVS is fully accredited and has been in existence for approximately 10 years.  OCVS is an extension of OCPS and the district is able to earn state funding for our students enrolled in the program.  This funding, however, is at a smaller percentage of the funding OCPS would normally receive per student and these funds would not land at Boone High School.  The OCVS option allows flexibility for students to work and attend classes when the timing is convenient but also requires the student to withdraw from Boone High School.  

 

Q. Will teachers do in-person teaching and distance learning at the same time? 
A. Based upon the numbers of parent selections for the [email protected] model within a grade level or course at a school, a classroom may have few or no students present. As a result, in some circumstances, teachers may be teaching a lesson to a portion of the students in their class face-to-face while live streaming instruction to those attending the lesson at home.

 

Q. If a student transfers from [email protected] into face-to-face instruction at the mid-year point, will this be into the classrooms with the same students and teachers they had in the virtual class?
A. The intent of the [email protected] model is for students to retain the same teacher(s) at their enrolled school when they transition back to a face-to-face model at the end of the semester. This is dependent however on the ability of the teacher(s) to return to the face-to-face model as well. 

 

Q. Will my child have the same teachers in the school and virtually?
A. To the extent possible, or as enrollment permits, students participating in the [email protected] model will have a teacher from their enrolled school.

 

Q. Can you change your mind during the first semester if your situation changes or if your first choice doesn't work for your child?
A. Parents who select the face-to-face model will continue in-person at their enrolled school for the full semester unless withdrawn from the school. They will not be able to select the [email protected] model after the start of the school year. Parents who select the virtual option will also remain enrolled with OCVS for the full semester. The OCVS full-time program does not have rolling enrollment, so those families who do not enroll at the start of the first semester will not have the opportunity to enroll again until the second semester if face-to-face is no longer the best option for their child. 

 

Q.  How will the innovative model work for high school students? Will they be offered all the same rigorous courses and electives as the face-to-face students? Or when it says “Select a model for your child” does that mean you get to choose from “group A” or “group B” which could be below your level or courses you are not interested in?
A. The [email protected] program does not affect course selection. Students will remain in the courses for which they would be normally scheduled, however, they will now attend those courses via live stream.  ****This will also include our magnet classes as well. Students enrolled in OCVS may not have as many course offerings as students in the face-to-face model or [email protected]