MEDFORD — Every school district in the state has been faced with the challenge of virtual learning during the coronavirus pandemic and Medford Township is no different.
The Central Record reached out to Medford Township Superintendent of Schools Joseph Del Rossi to see how the process has gone for the district the last few months.
CR: How have teachers, staff been managing with virtual learning?
JDR: “At the onset of the closure (in March), due to a variation in the staff’s ability to negotiate the Google Suite, it was challenging for some more than others. Presently, staff are very comfortable with utilizing the various platforms to push out their instruction via live and recorded meets/sessions. There has absolutely been a learning curve for all stakeholders (students, parents and teachers).”
CR: What are some of the challenges for the district when it comes to at-home learning?
JDR: “Ensuring that students have enough devices at home to accommodate their family. In some cases internet availability and capacity in the home for the server. Time is a large factor, it is a completely different mode for a teacher to teach new concepts. I know it is very frustrating for parents when they cannot assist their children with their work due to time constraints and the material.”
CR: Did the district have to provide students with any laptops?
JDR: “Throughout the closure we have provided/delivered about 300 Chromebooks to students in need. We have 2,700 students in district.”
CR: Are there any plans for graduations in the school district?
JDR: “Yes, our middle school principal Shawn Ryan and his team are working on this year’s graduation. It will be virtual in nature, all the details have not been finalized as of yet.”
CR: What do you foresee happening in September?
JDR: “One way or another there will be some type of schooling in September for our students,” he said. “I am awaiting guidelines from the Department of Education and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to create our plan. I believe social distancing will be a major factor in opening of all schools in September.”
Del Rossi is thankful for the cooperation of everyone involved during this pandemic.
“I would like to recognize our board of education, administration, teaching staff, support staff, maintenance and custodial, bus drivers and food services for their cooperation and efforts throughout this pandemic. Their responses have most professional, accommodating on target and timely. Keep up the great work!”
Del Rossi continued: “Additionally, I would like to recognize and thank all of our parents for their support, understanding and efforts with their children. I know this has not been easy—but you are doing an outstanding job under the circumstances. Stay safe, healthy and take care. Remember, this too shall pass, let’s hope sooner than later.”