JOHNSTON, Iowa — After hearing complaints from parents, help is on the way to upgrade online learning for Johnston students.
The Johnston Community School District school board voted unanimously Monday to transition away from the current Calvert learning platform for online-only students in grades K-5. The district will move to using the platform Seesaw, which will provide online instruction from Johnston teachers instead.
“Our intent with this is to address the concerns we heard and engage students directly with Johnston staff,” said Bruce Amendt, who serves as associate superintendent at the Johnston CSD.
Parents complained that Calvert left their kids with no teacher-student interaction and online all day long. “Some online, some offline. Not kids sitting in front of their computer or iPad for three hours at a time,” said Amendt.
The district also voted to provide additional resources for online-only students in grades 6-12 with classes currently using the Edmentum courseware learning platform. Last Thursday, the board approved to switch from the hybrid learning to full five day in-person learning and continue to give parents the choice of full online learning. School board members hope the switch with online platforms and additional support will help their students excel whether or not they choose to learn online or in the classroom.
Students currently in a unit through Calvert will be allowed to finish before the transition occurs. The switch is expected by the next semester which begins Jan. 12