When it comes to distance learning, many parents agree, you either love it or hate it.
Either way though, at least eight school districts across the state are looking to make it a permanent option for students K-12. Those schools include Anoka-Hennepin, Austin, Elk River, Osseo, St. Cloud, Burnsville, Owatonna, and St. Paul.
“Every year brings new ideas and new innovations,” said David Law, Anoka-Hennepin Schools Superintendent.
Anoka-Hennepin is the state’s largest school district, and the idea of distance learning for all is a welcomed proposal, considering it is always been an option leaders say, yielding great success for high schoolers.
“Pre-pandemic we had over 700 students doing some or all of their secondary education in that program,” said Law. He went on to say, “we’ve had parents reach out and say this year our children are thriving in distance learning.”
A successful alternative to learning, superintendent Law says, is what some teachers and parents are in need of, according to a recent survey.
“Half of those respondents said you know I am interested in something like this,” said Law. He added, “whether it be a student who’s going through treatment or a family that has some unexpected intermittent travel needs.”
With students in several districts reportedly falling behind in distance learning, since the start of the pandemic, Law says it’s a decision that comes down to structure and parenting.
“We’re trusting parents to know if their children are the kind of children that would be missing out, not having that daily personal connection with that type of support staff,” said Law.
As several school districts hit the reset button on in-person learning, Law is hopeful a change to school, as we know, will yield successful results in return.
“We’re hoping that this is just one more option that might catch one more group of students that weren’t successful in a traditional school and that this will be the ticket that gets them better prepared to be successful beyond high school,” said Law.
The application process to offer the option of distance learning, through the Department of Education, takes up to 90 days before a decision is made.