FWCS rolling out remote learning plan; 1-to-1 technology coming this fall


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Community Schools wants parents to know that answers are coming soon about the remainder of the 2019-20 school year and how students will move forward.

Parents have anxiously waited to find out how one of the biggest school districts in the state would handle the mandatory school closures imposed by Governor Eric Holcomb due to the COVID-19 pandemic — especially since the district does not offer e-learning.

In a letter to parents Thursday, Superintendent Wendy Robinson said her administrative team is working on a plan to meet the state’s new requirements and additional answers will be provided next week on “how we will end this year together.”

In order for students to complete the school year, all school districts are required to provide 20 days of remote learning. They must also explain how they will grade and provide feedback to students and how they will take attendance. The plan is due to the state on April 17.

Robinson said they already have the online portion figured out, the rest of the details are being finalized and will be released next week.

“We already have the online portion in place through PowerSchool. Teachers are providing assignments at least three times a week and holding daily office hours,” Robinson said in the letter.

So, what about students that lack access to technology and the internet? Students with special learning situations? Graduation for seniors? How will students retrieve and return items? What about summer school and summer programs? Those are all questions Robinson said will be answered soon.

“We know this is a stressful time for you and your children. Take care of your most immediate needs first — the health and well-being of you and your family — and we will make sure students have the opportunities they need to continue growing.”

1:1 Technology plan

Remote learning should not be as big of an issue next year. In her letter, Robinson announced plans to implement their 1:1 technology plan starting next fall. The plan will allow students at all 50 of the district’s schools to use a laptop or other technology during school hours, and if needed — to take home.

“We’re not going one to one with the intention that students will be bringing their devices home every day, we still intend to keep the devices at school,” said FWCS Spokesperson Krista Stockman in a phone interview. “But if we, and hopefully this never happens, but if we ever have a scenario like we are in now, where for an extended period of time students have to be learning from home, we would be able to provide them the technology.”  

Elementary schools at FWCS have been 1:1 for three years. This year, two middle schools and one high school implemented 1:1 technology.

Stockman said the 1:1 technology plan for the rest of schools was scheduled to be in place by the fall of 2021, but thanks to additional federal funding the district received to help during the pandemic, they will be able to purchase technology to move ahead with the plan this fall.

WANE 15 also asked Stockman about plans for prom and graduation. She said as of now, prom has been canceled and plans for graduation, whatever that looks like, are still being deliberated.

Below is Superintendent Wendy Robinson’s full letter:

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