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At Henninger High School, there won’t be any in-person classes until at least October. Fortunately for teachers in the Syracuse City School District, they’re getting some extra help preparing for the hurdles that come with virtual learning.
“Syracuse University has stepped up and has offered special training and support for teachers in the Syracuse City School District," Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said.
Thanks to a donation by the Allyn Foundation, SU is collaborating with Blackboard INC to offer a 16-hour free course that teaches what's new in the online classroom.
“They’re going to be learning how to develop the lessons. The online lessons. How to develop websites they can use. How to develop the videos into their lessons and all that and how to use all the resources from the community that they can bring into the lessons," said Syracuse School Superintendent Jaime Alicea.
So far, 305 educators have signed up for the course. Two hundred and seventy of them are from the city school district.
“When I sent the email out and said we have space for 100, immediately we were getting requests from our teachers, and thank God that SU was able to meet the needs that we have in the district," Alicea said.
“For a modest investment to be able to reach that many teachers and further enhance and prepare them for these challenges that lie ahead this year was really an easy decision to make I think," said Stephanie Pasquale, the Allyn Foundation director of neighborhood advancement.
The response has been positive.
“For them to step up and raise their hand and say that 'we are open to learning new methods, new ways to serve and to teach our students better' is just a testament to how dedicated our teachers are in the Syracuse City School District," Walsh said.
That could improve the entire experience in the future.
“We really do look forward to hearing from the teachers after they have this experience in learning, and making sure this is something that they felt as strongly as we do that it was beneficial," Pasquale said.