Remote Learning Begins This Week. This Is How It Will Work For Escambia County Students.

March 29, 2020

Tens of thousands of students in Escambia County will start classes this week at home, the first time they have had formal instruction since getting out of school for spring break on March 13.

Teachers and staff members officially head back to work on Monday, and teachers will begin calling students with complete details on how they will handle online instruction. Teachers were originally set to report to campuses on Monday, but many will work from home, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said Saturday afternoon.

Every Escambia County School district student in grades 3-12 already has an assigned Chromebook, and the district will be providing Chromebook laptops to students in grade K-2 from a stockpile of extras.

“The Chromebooks were purchased to use for a three-year cycle, but it turned out they lasted longer. We still had 10,000 of them we had not gotten rid off. They were taken offline, but they still work perfect and will go to schools for grades K-2. Some parents may also let their kids use their current laptop or computer.”

Parents and students will be instructed when to pick up their Chromebooks during a phone call from their teacher on Monday or Tuesday along with virtual learning instructions.  The distribution times and days will be staggered  to keep large groups from forming on campuses. If parents have not received a call from their child’s teacher by the end of Wednesday, they should call the school and make sure the district has the right phone number on file.

The district is targeting Wednesday, April 1 to begin remote instruction.

“Some elementary teachers are ready today,” Thomas said Saturday. “Some are ahead but for some it is going to depend on technology in the home of the student, and that will be a little more challenging.”

Once it became clear that students would switch to virtual learning at home, the district began to grapple with exactly how to reach students that have inadequate or even no available internet access at home.

“Teachers can put workbooks and assignments on flash drives for students without Wi-Fi,” he said. “We have the availability of Wi-Fi at community centers and libraries as a last resort for students. I think some will use it, but I don’t think it will be a larger number.”

Each student already knows their student ID and their password, the superintendent said, so working at home on their Chromebooks will be almost the same as being on campus. For the most part, work can be completed on the student’s schedule, but there may be a scheduled time for a video conference in some classes.

“We are going to be very flexible, whatever works for families, students and teachers,” he said.

The district will be taking attendance based upon when students log into the learning environment.


25 Responses to “Remote Learning Begins This Week. This Is How It Will Work For Escambia County Students.”

  1. Lisa on April 1st, 2020 4:11 am

    Chromebooks are not the only option. Teachers can put lessons on flash drive and they can get work packets together. When they call they will ask you which option works best for you. This is new to everyone so be patient and stay positive.

  2. JW on March 30th, 2020 1:36 pm

    This is a mess. I can view their assignments from my work computer and my laptop, but my middle schoolers can not see them on their Chromebooks. I can not even print the assignments because the PDFs have the print ability turned off.

  3. MLP on March 30th, 2020 11:18 am

    Thank you to Lee and a few others that posted positive comments. People, these are uncharted waters! We in this generation have never seen anything like this! We are all in this together. Sure you are frightened and only want the best for your children – we all do. But calm down for goodness sake! Take one day at a time. Every day is not going to be perfect or go just the way you want it to. Administrators are doing the best they can with what they have. They are not miracle workers. So just cool it, wash your hands and put on a Happy face and stay put. If you can’t connect with the schools take Lee’ s advice! Best I have seen yet for teaching your children. God have mercy on us all and heal our land.

  4. Devin on March 30th, 2020 11:08 am

    Some of us can’t afford wifi you’re really putting the poorer families in a bind, we already don’t have jobs. The fact that they haven’t considered that is ridiculous.

  5. Richard Ssmith on March 30th, 2020 8:56 am

    Libraries are ill equipped to handle an influx of students during this crisis. Staff have not been trained in risk management and are lacking basic supplies such as masks, gloves and disinfectant wipes/sprays to deal with the public. This will put both staff and students at risk,

  6. Cyndisue on March 29th, 2020 10:36 pm

    From my understanding, the ChromeBooks are on “lockdown” to be unable to hotspot or go to “unapproved” websites. Pretty much the only thing that they can do is use Google Classroom. Any thoughts on this anyone? Or, am I very misinformed?

  7. Lee on March 29th, 2020 9:47 pm

    If all else fails, have your kids READ. Anything, everything. Let them read silently, to you, and to other kids in the house. Have them write and/or draw about what they read. Let them keep a list of the new words they learn and help them use the words is sentences. Have them keep a journal about how they are staying busy each day. Plant something and have them keep a record of plant growth. Let them help cook so they can measure, learn to follow a recipe, etc. If they don’t know how to write in cursive, teach them and have them practice. Keep them on a schedule! I know parents who were on this the night they heard schools were closed and spring break plans came to a halt. Also, it’s really important to keep kids on a schedule. If you are a parent, you are already a teacher. Good luck and stay safe.

  8. Patty Sherouse on March 29th, 2020 8:40 pm

    Please don’t complain. We are all in this together. This has never happened before and we all need to realize everyone is doing the best they can with what we have to work with!!! Be patient and kind!! Patty

  9. A parent on March 29th, 2020 7:38 pm

    Also, I don’t know if all are closed but if I’m not mistaken the Century Library & Flomaton Library are closed to Public anyway.

  10. A parent on March 29th, 2020 7:35 pm

    Amanda Long just because an adult has access to internet doesn’t mean children do. Some people do not want their kids on internet for safety reasons. Just because a lot more people do something doesnt mean they’re right in what they do. Besides that maybe some kids do better on paper.

  11. Shelley Adair on March 29th, 2020 7:27 pm

    All I am reading is complaints. Thank God we don’t have as many fatalities as CHINA and other less unfortunate places than the US. If parents don’t have it then sign then up. Att has cheap rates for families that receive snap and ebt. I’ve been making my 2 kids do schoolwork everyday since this has started. I refuse to sit back and let my kids fail. If you are a parent who loves your children you will go above and beyond to make whatever the school district offers WORK.

  12. Patrice on March 29th, 2020 7:14 pm

    They said using libraries is a last resort. Nowhere does it say it’s an ideal option. It also states teacher can put the information on flash drives for use if no internet is available.

    This isn’t ideal by any means for anyone involved; not the students, not the teachers, and not the parents, but it’s where we are. I think the schools/teachers/school board would be open to other options if people have suggestions instead of just complaining. Contact the superintendents office and voice your concerns with then and make them aware!

  13. Amanda Long on March 29th, 2020 3:46 pm

    If you are posting on this news site… you HAVE INTERNET. Use your phone to log in, or download the apps, and give your kids the assignment. OR use your phone as a hotspot if allowed.

  14. Bratt Elementary mom on March 29th, 2020 3:19 pm

    This is a nice effort. May be the best thing under the circumstances. But if I wanted to home school from a computer, I would not have put my child in school to start with. Not sure what I’m gonna do about this. I’m gonna pray about it and hope God can help me make the right decision..But I’m not gonna be happy if my baby falls behind bc of all this!! Again, I’m no teacher and home school has never been considered. And never will be!

  15. Parish on March 29th, 2020 1:27 pm

    Yeah because going to the Library is such a good option. If they can’t go to school why the heck would I take my child to a public library at this time? Makes absolutely no sense. I’m very bitter about this. We have no internet, can’t get internet where we live, but yet this whole situation is internet based. And my only option for my child is to go to the library where it’s open to the public. I think it’s very unfair.

  16. Read the article on March 29th, 2020 1:23 pm

    The article says teachers can put lessons and assignments on flash drives if they don’t have access to the internet.

  17. Citizen on March 29th, 2020 11:38 am

    I home schooled without an internet for a few years and just used common sense, Child tested up to five years ahead of expected levels.

  18. Kristin on March 29th, 2020 11:31 am

    Sandra Duff I haven’t heard any new updates, I could have missed them if there is one out there pertaining to the school being done with. But I’m sorry my children will NOT be back in physical school as long as this virus continues and going the way it’s going now. I really don’t think they should go back in person for the remainder of the year because that’s 2 weeks out and the way it’s going numbers just keep multiplying as expected. They will continue to rise as we get test results back, but Im almost certain not all of the people that don’t know if they have it or are waiting on their results are self isolating/quarantining!!! So it’s only spreading and people can’t ever find out if they do have it because a lot are not receiving the test!!!

  19. Teresa on March 29th, 2020 10:56 am

    What about the students that don’t have internet or WiFi and they have no transportation to get to the library or other places to do the work

  20. Paula on March 29th, 2020 10:33 am

    I love how they say they can go to a library or community center, hello they’re all closed!!!

  21. William Reynolds on March 29th, 2020 9:35 am

    “Please during this time of uncertainty, please identify which Escambia County your articles are about in your headline.”

    Our primary coverage area is Escambia County, Florida. and we refer to it as Escambia County. If the story is about Escambia County in Alabama, that’s always written as Escambia County, Alabama.

  22. Susan Doss-Sheater on March 29th, 2020 8:51 am

    I think the flash drives are a brilliant idea. I wish I already had them in my hands so I could be preparing them right now.

  23. Jerry Aaron on March 29th, 2020 8:27 am

    I appreciate all you do for our communities. I know that you usually identify Escambia County Alabama or Escambia County Florida. Please during this time of uncertainty, please identify which Escambia County your articles are about in your headline. Thank you

  24. Sandra Duff on March 29th, 2020 3:00 am

    Does this mean schools are out for the rest of the year??

  25. David Huie Green on March 29th, 2020 1:35 am

    We live in interesting times