INDEPENDENCE — Central High School will move from K12 to Google Classroom, Central School District Superintendent Jennifer Kubista announced at the Oct. 5 school board meeting.
“In spite of incredible efforts on the part of K12 and Central, the integration continued to be met with mapping and system errors,” Kubista said in a news release. “K12 has integrated more quickly for the lower grade levels, but high school is particularly complex, with numerous course offerings, a two-semester schedule, and a population of more than 1,000 students.”
The district is renegotiating the contract with K12, which will come before the school board for approval.
“Our staff has been working, I can’t even describe the hours they have been working to try and get this integration to flow from our student information system into other information systems to be able to build this platform,” she said. “So our school district and the K12 integration team worked again over this weekend, the entire weekend.”
Kubista said she and Director of Student Services Julia Heilman speak once a week with the vice president of K12.
“Last Friday (Oct. 2), director Heilman and I shared with the vice president of K12 learning solutions that if we didn’t have full integration of this system and functioning as of today that we would be pulling the K12 integration at the high school because we need to get going,” Kubista said. “This is credits, this is graduation.”
Teachers have been doing great work, she said.
“I want to be clear that integration of these types of systems at the high school, with hundreds of classes, is complicated and a project like this normally just for a high school … probably would take six to nine months,” Kubista said. “We’ve been trying to build this literally in two months, which we were very close, but still there were some big pieces that were missing.”
They’re moving to the Google platform in the best interest of students and families at the high school, she said, and will work with CHS Principal Donna Servignat to identify other supports needed for the shift.
“I have every confidence that our teachers are up to the task of putting together comprehensive online instruction,” Servignat said in a news release. “Our collective knowledge has grown. Staff are much more experienced with the development of online tools. Teachers are working in their professional learning communities to share lessons, align teaching practices, and upload content.”
Students will receive letter grades, which is different from what took place last spring. Students and parents can see progress in Google Classroom, and teachers will report on scores and progress in PowerSchool.
The CHS grading committee and school teams have made a commitment to update grades in PowerSchool every two to three weeks, so that parents can see scores and overall progress.
Plans for textbooks checkout, online textbook use, supply kits and workbooks are in the works. Central science teachers will provide ways for students to engage in labs. For English language arts, students will be provided with novels so they can engage in reading activities. Electives teachers are putting together supplies for students to get hands-on experience in art and career-technical education classes.
“K12 has been very gracious,” Kubista said. “I am thankful for them. I think in the long run, this could be a good platform to use in the future.”
She said because some students flourish with online learning, the district should “take that into consideration in what our models look like in the future. It’s not perfect. I think we’re going to learn a lot.”