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Students Affected By Sandy Are Offered To Take Advantage of Online Learning Options

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The New York City Department of Education has taken steps to prevent students, whose schools and homes were damaged or destroyed by the Hurricane Sandy, from missing out on their academic work. Those students who are not able to attend classes have been offered to take advantage of online learning options available to them.

Most schools in the city have already returned to normal and operate on their regular schedule; however there are still dozens of them, which are flooded, de-energized or partly ruined. The city authorities are anxious about many students’ falling behind their classmates because their home situations are still very unstable. They are concerned that these children will not be able to catch up on what they missed.

Schools that provide online educational options are now prepared to take in more students who, for some reason, are forced to stay home. The credits they will achieve online will count for the total amount required for graduation.  Although the solution seems to be beneficial in many ways it still has its downsides. Thus, it will require students to have Internet access, which might become a problem for the most damaged areas.

The cost of this measure will be determined by the number of students enrolling for a particular class but it is not expected to be very high because many leading educational software companies have decided to allow the free use of their products.

Students will be able to take online courses in such core subjects as mathematics, science and English. Some elective courses like economics or a foreign language will also be available online. To sign up for online classes a student has to fill in a form where they indicate the courses they have been taking in the traditional classroom environment and want to follow online.

The initiative will be backed by the DOE iZone programs that use online tools for traditional in-class learning. Teachers who are experienced in online learning will teach online courses in addition to their standard school workload and the city’s public libraries will provide Internet access for those students who do not have it at home.

The practice of allowing students to take their classes online in case of some weather-dictated emergency is known to be effectively working in many states. In Ohio, for example, schools are officially allowed to conduct their classes online for as long as three academic days per year should there be heavy snowfalls, which prevent students from getting to school.




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