Keeping up with FWCS: Students and staff adjust to long-term closure

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thousands of students and Fort Wayne Community Schools staff members have been working their way through the new era of education in a shut down world. WANE 15 checked in with FWCS Spokesperson Krista Stockman to find out how the adjustment has been going and what problems still need worked out.

Q: How has the transition been for students adjusting to [computer programs]? Have all students gotten the technology needed to get the work done? What about those without internet access?

A: We only provided laptops to seniors who need specific coursework completed to graduate. This would include students who had an F in a required class. If students were passing their classes and on track to graduate, they would not need to take Edgenuity classes. Career Academy students working toward certifications are connecting directly with their teachers, and now we are getting pieces in place for students needing to complete dual credit courses so they don’t lose the time they’ve already put in. Schools are/will be reaching out directly to those students to determine if they need technology to complete the work.

For other grades levels, and the vast majority of our students, we are trying to provide resources similar to what they would be doing in school if we were in session. There have been some issues with PowerSchool as students across the country are logging on in greater numbers. PowerSchool was to address the issue, and things should be improving.

Q: How have students been handling school being out, especially seniors going through this during their final year? 

A: One of the most frequent questions we get is what happens to graduation. Our ceremonies are scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6, and we just don’t know what the situation will look like at that time. We know it’s hard not having an answer as this is when families are deep into making plans for graduation parties and relatives coming in from out of town. We’ve also had a lot of questions about prom, and, again, we just don’t have an answer yet. Both of these are big events in the lives of seniors. We get that, and as soon as we have guidance from state and local officials, we will share any changes in plans.

Q: How has meal service gone? Is demand higher or lower than expected? 

A: It’s been going well. We really weren’t sure what to expect, and we’ve been staying fairly steady at about 4,200-4,300 meals a day.

Q: Is any staff working/how is staff working with the main office closed and Stay-At-Home order in place? 

A: Administrators are working from home. The only others working have very specific jobs to do, such as technology staff to support all those working from home, as well as students using PowerSchool and Edgenuity, and Nutrition Services staff members working to make sure students are fed.

Q: What’s next on the list of things to figure out? 

A: Aside from graduation, we also have to look at how we reopen schools at some point – whether that is May 4 or a later date (as determined by the Governor or local officials).

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