Virtual learning is the new normal as Coahoma Early College High School and Coahoma Community College to open the 2020-21 academic year.
CECHS was originally scheduled to start classes Aug. 10, then it was pushed back to Aug. 17. Now, the starting date is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 24. CCC began classes Monday, Aug. 17 and the semester and final exams are Nov. 18-20, just before Thanksgiving break.
CECHS principal Cloretha Jamison and CCC dean of academics Rolanda Brown, provided reports of their plans for the new year during the board meeting last week.
Jamison said she purchased 140 laptops.
“These are top of the line computers where sophomore will be installed without any issues, especially for our 11th and 12 grade students who will be in multiple places,” Jamison said.
Jamison said parents have been told about Wifi hot spots in the community for students without connectivity. Laptops were also distributed in Marks and Tunica for students in those areas. She said there were 35 hot spots and the cost for technology and hot spots monthly came to around $1,600.
“We’re going to try to make sure that all our parents are able to pick up those spots,” Jamison said.
Jamison said because of the contract she could only physically give parents the laptops for their children to use. She held a meeting with parents to go conditions and responsibility.
“We want to make sure we thoroughly go through what’s in the contract and make sure the parents understand how the equipment needs to be used for educational purposes,” Jamison said.
Jamison said $12,000 was spent on PCE supplies: personalized masks; 3,000 disposable masks; gallons of hand sanitizer and automatic hand sanitizer stations throughout buildings; thermometers and more.
At CCC, Brown said faculty returned last week and were issued safety bags including, masks, thermometers, disinfectant sprays and several other items for safety and classrooms.
There will be hybrid and online learning at CCC.
“Our main focus is maintaining connections with our students as much as possible,” Brown said.
“The hybrid classes are going to start off online. For the first three weeks, we will be online, but the faculty members will go live at the scheduled time for those classes.
“The reason we’re doing it this way is because this is the first year of college for many of the students and they want to see their instructors,” he explained.
After the first three weeks, Brown said things would be scaled back from going live. Instead, there will be recorded lectures.
Brown said professors will be able to meet with students by appointment, but only five students may be present at a time. She said there will be live tutoring sessions with math and English department. Student leaders from every class will be selected to lead the tutoring sessions, but instructors are also encouraged to get involved.