Fifty-one percent of school districts are preparing a hybrid model of instruction for the fall, blending online and in-person instruction, according to data from the Center on Reinventing Public Education. About one-third of districts have not yet announced their plans, according to the sample of 477 districts studied.
Principals in the Fairfield County School District in South Carolina are using Schoolzilla's Mosaic District Progress Monitoring platform to examine data and identify factors that may be affecting student outcomes, writes Claudia Avery, the district's deputy superintendent of academics. In this commentary, Avery writes that, to better support students, school leaders needed a "strong data culture in which we study the data behind student scores and grades."
The 2020-21 school year could be abbreviated due to closures and schedule changes, according to educators and experts who suggest that teachers streamline to focus on the essential standards of the grade level. Also among the five suggestions for supporting students is for teachers to participate in curriculum mapping.
Retired Buffalo, N.Y., television journalist Rich Newberg is assembling a video series based on Black history specials and other work from his long news career. While Newburg has been working on the project for a year, he says there is "no greater moment than now" to get the material to schools so students can learn about events and people in local Black history including James Parker, who in 1901 subdued the assassin of President William McKinley in the city.
School social worker Tierra Rushing says working with students has changed since schools went fully remote, which has required all meetings to be held by appointment instead of allowing students to drop by. Rushing says she misses seeing some nonverbal cues that give her more information about a client in person, but using video calls has helped a bit.
Two-thirds of teachers say they favor starting the school year teaching primarily online, according to an NPR/Ipsos poll. Among those surveyed, 82% of teachers say they are concerned about teaching in person this year, with 77% saying they are concerned about their health.
Campus cafeterias and dining services are transforming their service models to accommodate coronavirus protocols by scaling back menus and dining hall capacity, while expanding hours and to-go options. Some schools are using food order and delivery apps to help students get their meals.
Teachers in Utah will receive free training to help them deliver cloud-computing courses and more through Amazon Web Services' AWS Academy. The state hopes to provide the Amazon training to about 5,000 students by June 2022.
There are several ways school leaders can work to ensure equitable internet access for all students and teachers this fall, says Jack Lynch of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway. Among the recommendations are helping to connect vendors and families, and reaching out to families directly rather than relying on surveys.
Teletherapy via video chat and videoconferencing tools for students in special education are among the issues covered in a guide for schools released by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and the Future of Privacy Forum. The guide aims to untangle the implications related to many privacy laws during remote learning.