Dubuque Community School District names principal for new permanent online school
DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Dubuque Community School District has named a principal for the district’s new online school.
Valerie Loewenburg, who started working as a teacher in the district and took a leading role in online learning programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, will serve as the principal of the Dubuque Online School pending approval of the school board in its May meeting.
Dubuque school officials applied to operate a permanent online school after district leaders discovered there was a considerable interest from many families in fully online learning. The district received approval from the state in early April.
Loewenburg said a permanent online school will allow the district to offer more organized online learning. She said a lot of her work as principal will be communicating with families and students to make sure their needs are met.
“I start by doing a lot of connection through email, text, sometimes I am even hopping in my car to check on families and making sure things are going okay for students,” she mentioned. “Other parts of my day look at reviewing academic data, seeing how kids are doing, providing support, changing things for students, like lessons, and then working with teachers to help them use the resources and materials that we have.”
The district currently has about 260 students enrolled in online learning. The online school will only serve middle and high school students as district leaders learned there was not a big interest in online learning at the elementary level.
”We have found over time that it is not for everybody, but for the kids who do want to do this it has been great,” Loewenburg explained. “We can be flexible to meet family lifestyles based on whatever is going on and can be more flexible with their day to day work and I think it is really, really important that we have an option to meet families where they are at in our district.”
Loewenburg said families will receive communication from the district within the next weeks with information on how to enroll in the online school. She said she would then follow up with families to figure out their students’ schedule. The district will then distribute materials, like laptops, in the summer.
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