Cumberland Educators Working to Keep Remote Learners on Track


Published on October 1 2020 10:03 am
Last Updated on October 1 2020 10:03 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Cumberland school officials took time at their recent school board meeting to discuss ways to assist those remote learners who are struggling.

Cumberland Middle School Principal Stacy Keyser explained that home visits and continuous communication "from multiple people in multiple platforms" have been extended to struggling learners. Keyser said students in the "most fragile categories" have been offered the opportunity to return onsite. She said many of the full remote students who are failing are struggling in every aspect of the academic setting. Keyser said much of the situation is due to not completing assignments or not engaging with opportunities given by the school staff. She said there are some remote only learners "who are just not completing anything".

High School Principal Kevin Maynard agreed, saying the high school is seeing many of the same things with remote learners.

There are also concerns at the primary grade levels. Cumberland second grade teacher Dawn Grubb said some remote learners in the younger grades are refusing to complete assignments.

Keyser said that, if and when those students return to campus, the teachers won't be expected to "catch them up" on what they've missed, but the District will have to provide testing or assessment to determine the levels of these students and develop a plan for how they can continue educationally.

Keyser acknowledged that each district in the state is dealing with the same issues, and said that as the school year progresses, the grades are getting better.

Cumberland Superintendent Todd Butler reminded that the situation could lead to an increase in retentions and reduction in graduation rates.

More changes are coming for the Cumberland district as under their return to class schedule for this school year, middle school students are all arriving back on campus.

In other business, the Cumberland board approved an amended budget for the current fiscal year, and approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cumberland Education Association. The agreement reflects that staff members are not being evaluated this year, and that they will retain their rating from last year. Administrators will still work with their staff members on an informal basis with evaluations returning next school year. A similar memorandum was approved with district support staffers.

The board accepted Cole Carlen's resignation as boys JV basketball coach, and to seek a replacement as well as a middle school girls assistant volleyball coach. Brandon Shaon was approved as a volunteer cross country coach.