Curriculum director discusses online platform

TROY — Troy City Schools Board of Education members got a brief look at what teachers — both in class and online — have implemented using the district’s online platform Canvas at Monday’s board of education meeting.

K-sixth grade curriculum director and teacher Danielle Romine gave a detailed presentation on the district’s online platform through Canvas. She shared how both virtual academy teachers and traditional classroom instructors are using the Canvas program to guide their students through their work and school day. Romine said teachers in the physical classroom are using the Canvas program to prepare students should they need to transition to online due to coronavirus levels that may switch the district to hybrid or online-only instruction with little notice.

Superintendent Chris Piper said all instruction materials will be accessed online through Canvas. If a student is sent home for quarantine, they’ll have access to the same materials as they would in the classroom through the platform.

Other positives of the platform include acclimating students of all levels to use Canvas, which is used by many colleges and universities. Several new teachers have shared with district officials that they used the Canvas program as students, which will ease the transition to use it as an instructor.

Parent forms, morning announcements, and even digital libraries are part of a teacher’s online “classroom.” Links to books read out loud and other materials can be accessed by students of all ages. Romine also said the platform is easily used by kindergarten students who have touch-screen Chromebooks for easier point and select usage.

In other news:

• Piper said principals reported they had a great start to the school year after six months out of class.

Piper also said some changes, like transition times and more outdoor learning, will likely remain after restrictions are lifted.

Food delivery service for online students, provided through a federal grant, started Monday. Students will receive five lunches and breakfasts delivered to their homes once a week — with 200 lunches per day for a staggered delivery schedule. Approximately 60 out of 900 online students opted out of the food service program. The district will be reimbursed for the meals by the federal government grant that also provides free breakfast and lunches to classroom students. The free lunch program will be available through Dec. 31. Piper said the delivery service helps students who cannot travel to distribution centers.

• The board approved a memorandum of understanding with the district’s Troy City Education Association for a one-month health insurance “holiday” if members verify they’ve had a health check-up and/or an annual health risk assessment blood draw by a physician. The one-month premium holiday will be honored in June 2021.

• The district received the following personal protection equipment from the Miami County Emergency Management Agency to use as needed: 45 face shields, 1,800 ear loop masks, 180 N-95 masks, 450 isolation gowns, 2,700 nitrile gloves, and nine no-contact thermometers.

Troy Music Boosters also donated $20,000 to the Troy High School band for sousaphones.