E-learning Goes Back to Back-Up
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 12, 2021
DIOCESE—Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of Education for the Diocese of Rockford helped diocesan schools develop e-learning processes.  
This computer-based instruction and learning was developed to help students and schools maintain continuity in times of weather extremes which, for anyone who lives in Northern Illinois, can mean anything from many days of dangerous below-zero temperatures, blizzard like-winter conditions, ice storms, flooding and even extreme heat.
The e-learning models assisted schools with reducing the amount of non-learning snow days. Little did the schools know that the innovation would become a norm with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Rockford, Vito DeFrisco called e-learning “essential.”
“Initially, e-learning was developed to provide instruction to students when schools were closed during inclement weather. E-learning has played an essential role since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” DeFrisco said.
But now that all schools in all grade levels are back to traditional in-person instruction, what place will e-learning have?
DeFrisco said plans are to use e-learning again as a back-up plan for schools.
“As we continue to navigate COVID-19 during an unprecedented time, we have learned a great deal about the importance of in-person learning and the value of e-learning. 
“The Catholic Education Office has adopted the most recent CDC guidelines to keep our students safe and, at the same time, continue to provide the best academic instruction as we keep our students engaged in in-person instruction. 
“Our schools will continue to provide instruction to students when they are sick but we think in-person learning is the best possible teaching method,” DeFrisco said.
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