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Administration Revises Remote Learning Protocols for Third and Fourth Marking Period

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Arcangelo Iurato '22
8 May 2020

Now in its eighth week, remote learning continues for schools across New Jersey. Passaic Valley administration has responded to concerns within the community by revising the model for the third and fourth marking period.

The most significant limitation with remote learning models is the lack of authentic teacher-student interaction. “It has not been very easy,” said Italian Teacher Mrs. Maria Papaleo. “I do not mind having some teaching done online, but I miss being with my students, guiding them, explaining, interacting, seeing and feeling their emotions.”

While remote lessons may seem simple to the outsider, much more work goes into creating lessons and communicating feedback behind the scenes. “I’m spending at least 12 to 15 hours a day grading papers, creating new lessons, and posting them while entering them into the student gradebook,” said Science Teach Ms. Richeall Kennedy, who also mentioned the difficulties balancing responsibilities at home and work simultaneously.

Director of Student Personnel Mrs. Tara Torres understands the challenges posed by a work-at-home method, a new reality much of the country. Mrs. Torres and the rest of the administration has been hard at work finding solutions to problems as they arise and readjusting existing protocols to meet the needs of students and teachers while still abiding by local government guidelines.

“We just finished collecting course requests for the 2020-21 school year and will be moving on to virtual college meetings,” said Mrs. Torres. “We are also writing virtual protocols and collecting resources for students in need during this stressful time.”

To accommodate students and staff, administration extended the third marking period to April 24th. This extension gave students who fell behind in their work early in the transition to online learning time to catch up in their classes. Furthermore, it afforded teachers much needed grading and planning time. In addition, the fourth marking period guidelines were revised to ease the burden on both students and teachers. While teachers are still required to provide instruction every day, students will only be assigned two grades a week. Both initiatives were direct reflections of Passaic Valley’s consideration for the concerns of their community.

“The decision to extend the third marking period and to revise our system for the fourth marking period was a team effort, resulting from conversations with students, parents, and staff,” said Ms. Torres.