FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Community School district has been forced to make adjustments as the start of the year has progressed. Teachers say that it’s getting better. The beginning of the year was frustrating because they didn’t know what to expect. One of those changes happened early for teachers.
“Our teachers needed more time to prepare so we did make that adjustment. Wednesdays are work remote days and I think that’s been very productive,” Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel says.
Teachers couldn’t visualize the plan that was in place, but 5th grade teacher Jessica Farlow says the past few weeks have been a lot better.
“The best part obviously was being able to see a lot of our student’s faces again, whether it’s zoom or in the classroom, just seeing and reconnecting with these students who we’ve built bonds with over the years,” Farlow says.
Technology has been a learn as they go process, but Farlow believes the district did a great job getting internet in the hands of those who needed it most. The district distributed around 29,000 digital tools to students before the year began and are still working through how to do things better. Dr. Daniel says they are working on attendance as well. After results from various surveys, the school is hoping to figure out consistency. For example, if a student logs on virtually to their class 5 minutes late, are they counted as tardy or are they truant. The district is working towards a goal.
“October 12, another day where we are working toward greater level of consistency. But we’re thinking very short term. These are short term goals and dates because they are immediate things that need to be addressed today,” Daniel says.
As for students, masks have not been an issue. Overall Farlow is proud of the students and how they have adapted to the changes this year has come with.
“These kids, this generation is killing it when it comes to masks, when it comes to hand sanitizing, when it comes to cleaning their touch points, when it comes to eating lunch in a classroom. They have adapted in a way that I don’t think any of us adults ever could have,” Farlow says.
Transportation is going well this year and is following protocol and the district is having very few issues. Because approximately one third of students are remote, the FWCS district has worked through driver shortages.