FSD1′s chief technology officer outlines virtual learning plans for upcoming school year

Florence One Schools creates virtual model for 2020 school year

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Florence School District One’s technology department has worked tirelessly to make students and teachers have the necessary resources available for the first day of school.

“Florence One Schools is committed to the return safely for our students and teachers and we want everyone to feel comfortable that we’re going to have these models continuously improving,” said Florence One Chief Technology Officer Kyle Jones.

Florence One released its plan, which gives students an option between a hybrid model, which combines face-to-face learning and eLearning or a completely online virtual academy.

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Jones said there have been some challenges in helping devise the fall plans, but they’ve looked into every available resource for the upcoming semester.

To provide more face-to-face interaction between teachers and students, Florence One procured the Google Meets and Zoom applications.

Jones said they’re also using additional teaching applications they felt were beneficial to students and teachers last spring.

“We’ve got Screencastify to record lessons for all our teachers and students, so we can continuously improve. We also utilized the GoGuardian platform and we felt like that was an excellent tool for students who were struggling or using it as a teaching tool,” said Jones.

Jones said they’ve used part of their CARES Act allocation to purchase new devices that will be available to students on the first day of school.

He said Florence One is emphasizing the importance of making sure all students are connected.

“With our students in need that have a connectivity issue at home, we believe we live in a time where everyone must be connected, so we will be doing the MiFi’s again and we have a strong partnership with our state and are committed to do that,” said Jones.

Jones said they will have a virtual platform available to kindergarten through third-grade students, but he wants to be honest with parents and make sure they have a full understanding before choosing the full virtual option.

“You need an excellent support system at home when you are looking at the virtual at-home model because students, especially in our younger grades, need that system.”

Students who choose the virtual-only model will have to wait until October 8 if they decide to change over to the hybrid plan.

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