FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Some Fort Wayne Community Schools students could have new teachers starting next week.
In a letter to parents Wednesday, Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel said the district was making some “adjustments” to ensure students are educated.
The adjustment: elementary teachers will teach either in-person or fully remote, rather than teaching both ways in a single classroom. Daniel said a survey of teachers last week overwhelmingly supported the change.
“While teachers may have liked the idea of having a classroom with some students in person and some remote, it turned out to not be a practical or effective way to teach young students,” said Daniel. “We believe the changes we are making will alleviate those frustrations and provide a better learning experience for all.”
The district asked teachers if they would prefer to continue with a blended model or separate in-person from remote students. Parents and teachers indicated that teaching the students together was too difficult for young students.
“That is one of the things that we were seeing is that for an elementary student if the teacher was only able to check in a couple of times a day with the student, it really wasn’t enough to make sure the students had what they needed in terms of instruction,” said Krista Stockman, Public Information Officer for FWCS.
The district will move 125 teachers to fully remote positions and divide up the around 4,000 remote learning elementary school students by grade. According to Stockman, some students will be in classes with students and teachers from other schools. This is because not every school has enough remote learning students in a grade to merit a teacher dedicated to that school alone. Regardless of where that teacher is based, students will still be considered attendees of their current schools.
The change will begin Monday. Daniel said some in-person students will also have a new teacher and classroom.
“We understand this is a disruption,” Daniel said. “However, we believe students will adjust quickly to the new arrangements, and students, parents and teachers will find the new set-up to be much more effective for teaching and learning.”
Montessori and Magnet elementary schools will be making a similar transition but, unlike the standard schools, students will be only be placed with teachers who work in their assigned school. Stockman said it is not likely the district will make these changes on the middle and high school level because older students are more capable of working independently, and typically require less attention.
Below is the letter from Daniel: