ROCKFORD (WREX) — Students at Rockford Public Schools could be learning from home in the fall, according to the district's superintendent.
RPS 205 said Tuesday it's working with teachers now to prepare for e-learning in the fall. Students have been working from home for weeks, since the governor's stay at home order closed schools.
RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said now is the time for a reset and to have a plan going into the next school year.
"We are going to do everything we can to plan for the worst and be prepared for expanded e-learning opportunity," Jarrett said.
School district leaders say a robust e-learning program could be an advantage moving forward after the pandemic.
"We do think when snow days come up in the Midwest moving forward, we'll see a real advantage in how we can enact that remote learning," Jarrett said. "It will also push us to make progress toward one-to-one computing initiatives."
A major barrier in one-to-one computing initiatives though, is access. According to the district, 1,200 families don't have adequate access to the internet. The district hopes to address what it calls a "digital divide." Jarrett said one alternative is take-home work for students.
RPS said it's working with families with limited internet access to address those barriers. At the start of the stay at home order, the district handed out 15,000 Chromebooks to students.
Those Chromebooks could come in handy for students in the summer, according to the district. RPS 205 said for many students, school may continue into the summer to fill a learning gap while students are outside of the classroom. Jarrett said "thousands" of Rockford students have struggled when it comes to learning remotely. He said a lack of an "end of the school year" should help students transition into summer learning.