Elementary and middle school students — especially those from low-income schools — have shown the most interest in learning remotely when Lincoln Public Schools opens Aug. 12.
District officials said as of the July 31 deadline, 6,771 students had filed requests, though officials had to verify those requests, and parents could still ask to have their children learn remotely even after the deadline.
But so far, 16.8% of the district's more than 42,000 students will learn at home, Zooming into their classrooms where teachers will also be teaching students in person.
Of those, 3,121 (17.4%) are elementary school students; 1,652 (17.7%) are middle school students and 1,998 (15.3%) are high school students.
Surprisingly, some of the district’s Title I schools — those with high levels of students living in poverty — had the most students wanting to learn remotely. Those who have raised equity concerns feared that more-affluent parents would be better able to have their students learn remotely.
Matt Larson, LPS associate superintendent of instruction, said officials didn’t know why students in those schools seemed to favor the option, but hope to learn more during the verification process.
Staff met with different groups of students — those with special needs and English language learners, for instance — to make sure they understood what remote learning was and what was involved in it, he said.
At the elementary school level, Belmont had the most students (161, or 22%) sign up for remote learning. McPhee, a much smaller school, had the largest percentage of its students sign up (29.5%, or 75 students).
Wysong Elementary in south Lincoln, one of the newer schools, had the fewest students sign up (38, or 6.4%).
Of middle schools, Irving had the most students sign up (23.9%, or 211) compared with Moore, which had the least (9.4%, or 59 students).
At the high schools, Lincoln High had the most remote learners (442, or 18.5%) and Southwest had the fewest (264, or 12.4%).
As it did during the fourth quarter of last school year and in summer school, LPS will provide Wi-Fi hot spots to students without reliable internet access.
But that’s where the similarities to last school year’s remote learning will end, Larson said.
Students will be required to Zoom into all their classrooms daily and teachers will take attendance, he said. Students may get offline for part of the class to do their work, but when they are Zooming in, they'll have multiple ways to interact — either through a chat feature or raising their hands over Zoom, or pressing a button.
Teachers and administrators at each building will decide how best to organize the remote learning with teachers and classrooms, Larson said.
Before school starts, teachers will have a variety of professional learning opportunities to familiarize themselves with teaching remotely, said Sarah Salem, director of continuous improvement and professional learning.
Instructional coaches and others will be available to help, and teachers will have time to practice setting up their technology, and can individualize their learning so they spend time on the elements of remote learning they need most help with, she said.
Superintendent Steve Joel thanked teachers and staff for the work needed to make school successful, and acknowledged LPS is asking teachers and principals to do more to make education work in a different environment.
“It’s going to be a new experience for everybody,” he said. “I think we’re walking into a new environment, and I think we’re going to have to adjust as we get into the school year. And I think we’ll do that.”
Photos: Lincoln during the pandemic
Photos: The scene in Lincoln with much of city shut down
City Council distancing
Gameday empty Saturday
Thank you Bryan West
No fans allowed
Volleyball social distancing
Boo at the Zoo
Downtown mask art
Marching band competition
East Campus proposed budget cuts
No Football Saturday
UNL in-person class
Farmers Market influencers
Weeping Water vs. Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan
First day of middle school
First day of school
Pius X volleyball practice
House of Flowers delivery
City Council BLM protest
Rally and hearing
Lancaster County Super Fair
LPS board meeting
Meatpacking workers rally
Lincoln Northeast graduation
Gov. Ricketts address Legislature
Masked Archie the Mammoth
First Jury Trial in Four Months
Lincoln Community Playhouse
The Kindler Hotel
Garth Brooks Drive-In Concert
Urban Air Adventure Park
Gere Branch Library
Music on the Move
Bars Opening in Lincoln
LPS Teachers Retirement
Holmes Lake Manor Horse Visit
Lancaster County Courthouse
Church Social Distancing
Children of Smithfield
Parkview Christian Teacher Appreciation Day
Lincoln Christian 2020 Seniors
Test Nebraska site
Drive-Thru Career Fair
Center for People in Need food distribution
Masks For Truckers
Teacher and Staff Parade
Virtual City Council
Good Friday Music
Masks on a walk
Watch: A timelapse of the mural at Saro Cider
Watch: Hand sanitizer rolls off Innovation Campus assembly line
No fun here
Tower Square sign
WATCH: Celebrating a birthday with a parade
Simpsons in the windows
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing
UNL Beekeeping virtual class
Lincoln Lutheran Online Teaching
Blue for public health
Basketball without fans
Thanksgiving to go
Socially distant Santa
Christmas tree demand
Basketball fans reduced
Mike Hilgers at Legislature's First Day
Zoo Bar membership
New high school
Biking in snow
Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @LJSreist
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