Maritime Academy of Toledo embraces COVID challenges

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 8:51 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Maritime Academy of Toledo is delaying their start date for the fall. But it’s only so they have time to prepare all their big plans.

The Maritime Academy is finally meeting a goal they’ve been working towards for three years, and the timing could not be better.

Representatives say that they wanted a one-to-one school, meaning one computer for every student, by this school year. And last Monday, a shipment of 120 laptops made that a reality.

Now the school is working to make its curriculum accessible remotely by having teachers undergo extensive training about distance teaching. The superintendent is also considering bringing in a few full-time subs to help with keeping class sizes small.

So the school is delaying its start date to September 8 to make sure everything is ready. And that date can’t come fast enough.

“Having the kids at school is why I do this job, and this job would not be very fun if it weren’t for the kids, so seeing the kids is the number one thing I’m looking forward to. I look forward to seeing them and I know they enjoy being at school, as well,” says superintendent Aaron Lusk.

The school is also going to be giving families more options than ever before. The academy is offering three options for families to return to school.

The first has in-person classes four days a week, with Wednesday as a cleaning day. That will include standard safety practices like masks and social distancing.

Families can also build their own custom hybrid schedule and the school will work with them.

That’s not all. The academy also has a full-remote option. As a charter school, they can provide that remote curriculum to any student in the entire state of Ohio. This opens up the academy’s unique technical, environmental science, and culinary classes to a larger audience than ever before.

As many of their classes are tough to teach at a distance, the school is working to figure it all out with advanced training and technological advances.

“Last year we were kind of thrown into this and now that we’ve had the summer and we’ve pushed our start date to September 8, that has given us a lot of time to put the safety procedures in place as well as train our teachers very well using a format that will help our students be successful,” says principal Amy Hineline.

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