By Brian A. Boecherer
On March 12th Governor Ned Lamont announced the closing of all schools in Connecticut until March 16th. He later extended closures to April 30th and eventually for the entire school year.
UConn ECE sent a survey to all 208 partner schools to understand how high schools pivoted to remote learning. By the first week of April, all schools were teaching online.
From the survey, 70% of partner schools are using a Google platform/Google tools to engage with students, while 21% of partner high schools are also using Zoom while also using Google tools.
At the time of the survey the most prominent concerns from the high schools were: managing labs, managing exams, and finding additional creative resources to keep classes going.
The UConn ECE Withdraw/Audit deadline was extended to the end of the academic year, allowing students to submit the Withdrawal Form at the end of their class. This decision parallels the University’s Pass/Fail policy.
Pass/Fail was introduced to the UConn ECE community from an email from the Provost to all teaching faculty. Pass/Fail has never been an option for UConn ECE students, and after much deliberation, it was not extended to UConn ECE students during our current crisis.
UConn ECE worked with the Connecticut Department of Education and the Connecticut Association of School Superintendents to introduce
the option of a Pass/Fail fourth quarter at the high schools to make allowances for the pivot to remote learning.
Final exam policies were made clear to UConn ECE Instructors by the beginning of May. While finals continued, individualized plans were created for schools as necessary.
The UConn ECE Community pulled together during this unprecedented time to find solutions to issues. UConn ECE departmental listservs were well-utilized to make announcements, share best practices, and support each other in real ways.
High schools continued nurturing their communities as well. One stellar example, Wethersfield High School, engages with their students by offering a weekly morning announcements, highlighting life, teaching, and learning at a distance.
UConn ECE created a digital Professional Recognition Awards Show to replace their annual Professional Recognition Award Ceremony. It was live broadcast on May 4th through YouTube Premiere.
Registration for 2020-2021 opened on April 30th. Students have the next two months to apply to the program. This year, due to an
inability to access printers, high school signatures are not required.
Students will enroll in courses from August 11th to September 30th. Students who did not apply in the spring can apply in the fall without a late fee.
Pre-College Summer was forced to cancel their summer plans of hosting 500 students for their residential program. The PCS team will use this time to retool and implement strategic planning for the coming years.
UConn ECE New Instructor Orientation, which is usually in June, was postponed to August 21st. This orientation will be hosted through HuskyCT and will utilize an online format. It will be a combination of live and asynchronous video. More details are to come.
Similarly, UConn ECE is making arrangements for moving all professional development workshops online for the Fall semester in preparations for the possibility that we will not be able to meet in person.
NACEP has put a pause on accreditation applications for 2020. UConn ECE was prepared to submit its application on July 1st however due to COVID, the organization has decided to put a hold on applications for a year. UConn ECE is a founding member of NACEP and was first accredited in 2007. Since our first accreditation, UConn ECE has quadrupled in terms of courses offered to the high schools and has quintupled in terms of student enrollment.