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SCSD Collaborates With SU, Allyn Foundation to Provide Remote Learning Training Course for Teachers

Scott Willis

More than 250 teachers in the Syracuse City School District have signed up for a four week course aimed at helping them provide effective remote learning for their students.  Syracuse University, the Allyn Foundation and a company called Blackboard are providing financial or in-kind support. 

Superintendent Jaime Alicea says teachers jumped at the opportunity.

“This is taking the teachers from the beginning on how to develop an online lesson, how to use those resources, how to collaborate with each other so it is a little different form what we have done in the past. But we’re also doing similar training for all the other teachers in the district.”

There are approximately 1700 educators in the Syracuse School District. Dean of SU’s University College Mike Fraschiello says the collaboration is the latest of many with educators and students.

“We recognized early during this health crisis that our research expertise and thought leadership in online education could be leveraged to serve K-12 educators preparing to transition to remote and full online learning.” 

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
SCSD Superintendent Jaime Alicea introduces the new training program alongside SU University College Dean Mike Fraschiello and Allyn Foundation Director of Neighborhood Enhancement Stephanie Pasquale.

Meanwhile, teachers are back in school getting classrooms ready.  That was evident Thursday at Ed Smith School on the city’s near east side where the parking lot was full and teachers could be seen and heard through open windows.  The first three weeks will be remote for all students starting September 14th before transitioning to hybrid learning.  Alicea says the biggest challenge is ensuring all children have laptops and wi-fi hotspots at home when classes begin. 

The Allyn Foundation helped provide devices in the spring, and Director of Neighborhood Enhancement Stephanie Pasquale says they’re glad to increase access for those who need it the most.

This has, as everyone knows, been really challenging for families and for students and having this level of quality of instruction afforded to our kids is really paramount to ensure there is no loss in learning this year.”

Outside of Syracuse, about 35 teachers have signed on to the training.  More information on the course and how to register is at

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at