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Taylorsville Journal

Granite to offer new online learning option for students

Jul 22, 2021 12:17PM ● By Hannah LaFond

Starting in fall 2021, Granite School District will be launching a centralized online learning option for their students. (Photo by Thomas Park/Unsplash)

By Hannah LaFond | [email protected]

Granite School District will be launching a centralized online learning option for their students in fall 2021. Stephanie Wood, the associate director for Granite Online Learning, advised that there are many important factors when considering online learning.

Although Granite School District has offered online classes for years, those have typically only been supplemental. They’re an excellent way for high school students to dual enroll in college classes or free up their schedule for more electives. However, during the pandemic, they had to adjust to teaching more students and courses online.

“We all learned a lot during the pandemic year of what students need and want and ways they can be successful,” Wood said. “So, we felt like it was important to build a program to help support students who need an online learning experience.”

With that in mind, the district set to work creating Granite Online Live. The program will be available to students in grades K-12, and it allows them to complete all of their required coursework online.

They’ve created a synchronous program, meaning that students will have live instructions online every day. The district has already hired new staff to work exclusively on the online program. That way, teachers won’t have to balance online and in-person students as many did during the previous school year.

Anyone interested in registering can meet with their principal or counselors to talk about the program. Wood said they’re holding off on registration until late July and early August because circumstances may change for families between now and the start of the school year.

Wood said she’s excited for every student to have online or in-person school options depending on what works best for them and their family. She also said there are a lot of factors parents and students should consider in the decision.

Online learning presents unique challenges that will work better for some students than others. Wood said it’s important for students to stay organized and on task without the in-class structure. It’s also essential for students to be comfortable navigating the technology necessary for their online classes.

Wood also made it clear online learning is not the right choice for every student. “We anticipate that most of our students will want to return to school where they have their teacher and their friends and all of the wonderful things that happen in our buildings,” she said.

Many students struggled with online classes during the pandemic and will be excited to return to normalcy. However, some students thrived in the online environment and found many benefits to staying home.

“It provides them some comfort of feeling like they’re in a place where they feel safe,” Wood said. “Those are all things that are sometimes hard for students when they’re in a large building with lots of students to navigate hallways and lockers. Doing an online option, they don’t have to do those things. They’re focused on their learning, and their relationship with their teacher, and building their knowledge and relationship with their peers.”

Granite Online Live will be an option for any students in the Granite School District. Wood said they are excited to provide this online alternative so every student can thrive in the learning environment best suited to them.

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