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A Look Into Lee School's Instructional Models

School District of Lee County Facebook

Families in the School District of Lee County were given the option to choose among four instructional models for their children for the upcoming fall semester.

WGCU's Andrea Perdomo spoke with Lee school's Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jeff Spiro who broke down what those options are and how they will be implemented.

Here is a transcript of their conversation:


Lee County School District families were asked to choose an instructional model for their children for the upcoming academic year. Could you please describe what those options were?


The instructional model choices our families have to choose from are really four models. One, any family that chooses to come back to school face-to-face, have that direct instruction with their teacher, in-person, has that option to do so. So, All of our schools are open,they'll be open. They'll be open for five days a week.

If a family doesn't feel comfortable with coming back to school face-to-face, we have two different virtual options for them. Our first virtual option is what we are calling Lee Home Connect. And what Lee Home Connect does, it provides a virtual option for a student to be connected with teachers that are already at his or her assigned school.

So a student would get up in the morning, while other students are going to school face-to-face, at that exact same time students would be getting up, following their regular assigned schedule and logging on with teachers who will be teaching lessons virtually. But they are live lessons with those teachers.

The other virtual option we have are for students to be enrolled into our Lee Virtual School program. Lee Virtual School is a self-paced program. And so these are students who will be instructed by teachers, but then students work at a self-pace through different modules, different lessons, different units of instruction, where teachers will check in with them on a regular basis.

The last option we have available is homeschool. Homeschool, that is an option for parents who want to do the instruction themselves. That is a completely parent-driven instructional model.

So, Those are the four options, but I also want to say at any time when we're working with our local health officials, if our local health officials, with our superintendent, decide that we need to go to full distance learning, we also have the option for all students in our district to receive that one-on-one live instruction virtually if we had to. So, if we have to pivot in that direction, we have the tools to make that happen.


There are 85,400 kids within the Lee County School District and about 12,000 of those kids have not selected an instructional model for the fall. What will happen with those students? What options do those families have?


We did tell parents that if they do not complete a survey, they would automatically default to face-to-face instruction. So we are thinking a lot of our families are choosing to use that option and which is why they did not complete the survey. But just to make sure, our school principals have teams inside of their buildings that are personally calling each and every one of those families, school by school, to make sure that we have the right instructional model in place for their child.


Okay. And can families change their mind about the instructional model they selected or is it set in stone?


So, families can change their mind, but they would need to work with their child's school principal, because there will come a point where we're not going to be able to make changes because of the way the master schedules are set up, the way that teacher assignments are made. So we're asking our community, if you are looking to change your mind, please do it sooner rather than later so we can make sure we have the right teaching personnel in place for their children.


Okay. So school is slated to start August 31st. When is the final day that [families] can make those changes?


We're going to ask them, and I'm not going to give a hard, fast deadline because things happen with families, there's work issues, there are health issues that come up. And so I want to give our principals the flexibility to work with their school’s communities, to help them make the best choice for their instructional models.

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Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.