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Schools face new options for remote learning — 'blended' or 'online'

Remote learning
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 10:29:08-04

CLEVELAND — Tuesday is the deadline for Ohio schools to let the state Department of Education know if they're interested in establishing a Blended Learning Model for the 2021-22 school year. It's one of two different options for non-traditional learning during the pandemic.

In 2020, the state authorized a Remote Learning Plan for schools that had been closed or looking for more flexible options for students. This year though, things are being handled differently.

A student who spends at least 51% of their time learning in the classroom is considered part of a Blended Learning Plan. A student who spends at least 51% of their time learning at home, would be part of an Online Learning School. It's an entirely new school that districts are being asked to create, each with their own unique code.

Here's a look at the requirements for creating an Online Learning School, according to the Ohio Department of Education:

  • Requirement (1): Assign all students engaged in online learning to a single school which the Department will designate as an online learning school.
  • Requirement (2): Provide all students engaged in online learning a computer, at no cost, for instructional use, with a filtering device or filtering software that protects against internet access to materials that are obscene or harmful to juveniles.
  • Requirement (3): Provide all students engaged in online learning access to the internet, at no cost, for instructional use.
  • Requirement (4): Provide a comprehensive orientation for students and their parent or guardian; prior to enrollment or within 30 days for students enrolled the online school.
  • Requirement (5): Implement a learning management system that tracks the time students participate in online learning activities. Implement a system to document off-line student learning activities with all participation records checked and approved by the teacher of record.

Districts interested in creating an Online Learning School were supposed to request approval by August 1, but News 5 learned the Department of Education is still accepting applications.

We've seen a lot of interest in both options. The Ohio Department of Education shared a list of all the Ohio schools that have expressed interest in one or both of these plans. You can see those lists here:

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