High school students that either prefer the flexibility of online learning or else do not wish to be in a classroom with other students due to the COVID-19 pandemic have until Dec. 4 to switch to the Manteca Unified Online Academy.
But in order to determine if such a move is in their best interest, Online Academy Principal Lisa Goodwin said students need to contact their high school counselors to thoroughly understand what being a part of the online academy entails.
“It is not distance learning,” Goodwin said in reference to the at-home learning model students were switched to in March due to the pandemic.
Goodwin noted not only is the approach to learning different but that it offers different credits and is conducted in modular units.
Manteca Unified Community Outreach Coordinator Victoria Brunn noted 100 percent distance learning is not an option for students that do not want to be a part of the hybrid learning model that the districts’ 33 schools are now doing that involves in-person and remote learning.
Brunn said a situation where part of a class could opt for distance learning and the rest for in-person learning would create an extraordinary workload for teachers.
“They would be trying to teach students in the classroom and remotely that involve two (entirely) different approaches,” Brunn said.
Underscoring the need for in-person learning, Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher pointed time preliminary results from testing that show a learning loss has indeed occurred for many students that have been schooled via distance learning due to the pandemic.
Brunn said in instances where students are quarantined for 14 days, they will be provided work packets by teachers just as they would receive if they had an illness that forced them to miss multiple days of school in a year where there was no pandemic emergency.
That said there are three options for students:
*The hybrid learning process now in place that involves most of the district’s 24,000 students.
*The Manteca Unified Online Academy.
There are currently 1,263 students at the kindergarten through eighth grade level enrolled in the online academy. At the high school level there are 259 online academy students.
“It needs to be a thoughtful decision,” Goodwin said of switching to the online academy on the high school level.
Not only are the credits different but the offerings beyond core classes can be more limited due to the amount of interest in various classes.
Those enrolled in the online academy will be able to participate in sports and other after school activities when they resume at their home schools.
For more information go to mantecausd.net/onlineacademy
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