Jon Castelhano, Executive Director of Technology at Gilbert Public Schools in suburban Phoenix, Arizona, makes lemonade.
Instead of taking emergency measures to weather the COVID-19 crisis, his district is making strategic changes with a view to the future. These are ideas that have been talked about for a long time, but never implemented in the 40 schools that serve 34,000 students.
In order for it to work, the faculty also has to reinvent itself. In this conversation with eSchool NewsJon describes how they’re going to do just that.
eSN: What is your fall like at the moment?
JC: We are developing a number of options for families. The first is a full online option which is actually just our current virtual academy. What I’m excited about is our flex option – think of a blended / hybrid model for our elementary schools and a slightly different flex look for high school. It’s similar to some kids where they might take a few classes on campus but then take a few online.
It used to be a special case, now there is something for everyone. If your student wants to come three hours in the morning and then do their other two classes online, they will go to our global online online school for that. They can continue to participate in anything they want outside of the curriculum.
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