WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Waterloo Community School District began their virtual learning program 3 weeks ago, and some parents already think some aspects can be better.
Students who are involved in the virtual learning programming at WCSD schools complete tasks individually through a variety of different programs from home. The students, and sometimes parents, meet with the teacher a few times a month.
“I really like that the option is there for families thinking about what’s best for their schedule and their safety at home,” Becker Elementary Virtual Teacher Elizabeth Frohwein said.
Some students are still opting to attend in-person classes at the schools, but during the pandemic, learning from home has been an option many have taken. School officials say that this type of learning can benefit students in some ways that in-person learning can't.
“If a student wants to look back at a lesson, they can stop and rewind with the platform that we’re using. It allows for that kind of self-paced learning to occur and it allows students to get that additional support that they need,” Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Ryan Christoffer said.
Some parents believe their children are learning fairly well, but when it comes down to communication between the virtual teacher, parents, and students it needs work. WCSD teacher Elizabeth Frohwein is one virtual teacher who is handling up to 115 students on her own.
“I think there could be more teacher presence," WCSD parent Randi McDonald said, "There are some families who are having amazing teacher help and getting their questions answered immediately. There are other families who aren’t hearing responses for days, and that’s a problem.”
Before the school year began, Mcdonald created a Facebook page to be used as a public forum for parents and students who have questions. It has become very helpful in getting questions answered among the hundreds of those who are involved with the virtual learning program at a Waterloo Community School District school.
The district says they do have some things to fix and work on with the virtual learning program, including communication.