Jacqueline Andy is an e-school and traditional school parent multiple times over. She recently wrote a very powerful and thoughtful letter in support of ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) that was noticed by the press. Soon after sending her letter to the Ohio Department of Education and a collection of Ohio politicians, she was interviewed as part of a story for WCMH NBC4 News in Columbus. Even though full support of the school was edited down to just a couple brief soundbites for the TV news, we included a full copy of her letter below.
Below is the full unedited copy of Jacqueline Andy's original letter
"As of the time of this writing, I have spent dozens of hours considering just the right words in the most concise manner necessary to convey to you my position on the situation currently involving the lawsuit ECOT has filed against the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). I have since, discarded the three page version of my letter and will get straight to the issue at hand. As I’m sure you are already aware, the pending lawsuit is a result of the ODE attempting to change the rules on e-schools which would result in them losing significant portions of their funding, possibly forcing e-schools to close down altogether. As an ECOT parent/ foster parent I would like for you to consider my right to school choice and what is best for my children. My son began attending ECOT in the year 2000 during the initial stages of the development of the e-school. During the first year of operation, there were several malfunctions and anomalies which have since been corrected primarily through trial and error. I currently have two students enrolled in ECOT, my 17 year old biological daughter and 17 year old foster daughter, both seniors and scheduled to graduate during the next graduation class of 2017. As a foster parent for the past 5 years and mother of two biological children, I have had experience with both e-school as well as the traditional brick and mortar school. I would like for you to consider this; ECOT has been able to address the wide variety of learning styles, interests and unique circumstances that come with my special needs children while making it their priority to provide them with an excellent education. ECOT’s curriculum, taught using the IQity e-learning platform, is challenging and motivating for students. Each ECOT classroom has at minimum of two teachers assigned per class. Classes are held on assigned dates and times and each is recorded and available to students 24/7. ECOT students have the option to work independently teaching them proper time management, organization and communication skills. Self motivation is a skill that takes some adults a lifetime to achieve; our ECOT kids practice this on a daily basis. ECOT employs genuinely caring, supportive teachers, counselors and tech staff all of whom have high expectations for their students. Teachers are available to both students and parents at flexible times and are willing to schedule a phone appointment at non-traditional hours at your convenience including evenings and weekends. That is what I call dedication and commitment. I don’t believe that an e-education is suitable for all families. Just like with a brick and mortar education there does have to be a dependable, trustworthy adult managing from home and should be the parental responsibility to exercise corrective measures if the student isn’t completing homework or not attending class. I find it unjust to penalize ECOT and/or the families that are fully dedicated to providing their children with a sound education based on the lack of commitment of a few. ECOT has a highly specialized student/parent portal that allows me to follow my child’s progress on a daily basis. The portal allows me access to all assigned tasks, my child’s daily log-in times and grades for all completed assignments and tests. I can say with 100% certainty that, over the past 16 years, ECOT has fulfilled its responsibilities to my family by providing my children with a high-quality curriculum, exceedingly dedicated teachers and a well rounded, solid education. Please respect my decision to choose the education I deem best suited for my family and reconsider taking away funding, therefore, my choice to pursue an e-education for my children. If you would be interested in having additional conversations or to know more about my personal experiences with ECOT I would be honored to discuss this with you further at your request." Sincerely, Jacqueline S. Andy
More ECOT PALS Stories