School divisions, internet companies work to provide for online learning

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam made the decision to close all schools K-12 in the commonwealth, so educators are using online learning.

For those who do need internet and can use Cox Communications, the company says it’s helping families in need get connected through its “Connect2Compete” program. It’s Cox’s low-cost internet product for families with school-aged children.

Each school division has its own plan for dealing with “distance learning.” In Virginia Beach, Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence says they have plans in place that deal with closing school.

“We have a baseline set of operational responses that we put into place when we know we have to close schools. What we’re doing is building on that based on the unique nature of this,” Spence said.

In a phone call Monday, Spence said online learning is a normal part of the school division’s operations — and they’ve already set up a system to help families who don’t have access to the internet.

“We have, throughout (the) course of implementing our digital strategies, been thinking about how to get students online access who don’t have it,” Spence said. “We have a number of things already in place. We have a partner with Cox Communications who provides deeply discounted online access to families who qualify.”

He says the work will not be graded, but students will get feedback. The goal: pick up where they left off when in-person learning resumes.

“We do expect students to continue learning, that the intention is to, when we do resume operations, to be as far along as we possibly can be so that we can complete the year,” Spence said.

For information on how other school divisions are dealing with distance learning, click here.

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