By Wendy Sweeter
Many parents debated how they wanted their children to learn this school year prior to school starting in August due to the pandemic.
Lennox Superintendent Chad Conaway noted they surveyed families this summer to get an idea of how many parents wanted to send their children to school in person or do online learning. Since the number of potential virtual learners was low, the district decided to participate in the Black Hills Online Learning program.
The district ended up having 36 of the total 1,135 students enrolled in the district participate in online learning for the first quarter, which ended Oct. 23. While some districts in the area decided to do a virtual option internally, Lennox decided with their low number of online learners, an established program was the best choice.
“Based on those numbers we really couldn’t justify the independent cost of trying to provide teachers at each grade level to do an onsite learning program. This was a good balance,” Conaway said. “The program is already aligned to all of the South Dakota content standards.”
The district paid for the program and offered online students a computer to use. Internet access was the responsibility of the family. Conaway has not received any notifications that connectivity has been an issue for any of the families doing online learning.
Conaway acknowledges that online learning may be working better for some than others.
“I think the thing about that program is it requires a good support system at home. I think those who have that and are able to devote time to that program with their kids, I think are finding success with it.
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