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.
Two eighth-graders from each of the 12 schools in Pendergast Elementary School District in Arizona are chosen for the Superintendent's 8th Grade Council each year to learn about school budgets and planning as well as advise the superintendent on how middle-schoolers are feeling. The superintendent also hopes working on the council will get members thinking about a college education.
Michael Gaskell, principal of Hammarskjold Middle School, had a video lesson he wrote aired on PBS in New Jersey this summer and has developed tips for teaching with video, including how to use an online teleprompter to keep things smooth. He also uses a lottery wheel to get students excited about lessons and says he tries to teach to the students, not the camera.
Experts say school districts need to offer mental health support for educators preparing for an uncertain and challenging school year. Michelle Kinder, a licensed professional counselor, said teachers are processing their own trauma while supporting students -- holding onto "the tension, stress, grief and anxiety of their students."
Thoughtfully-designed video games can serve as powerful tools for teaching and learning, according to Matt Feldmann of the nonprofit MIND Research Institute. In this commentary, he cautions against games that rely too heavily on adaptive algorithms that make game-based decisions for students that they should make for themselves.
Researchers conducting a survey of more than 700 teachers identified three best practices that educators relied on when making the transition to remote instruction this spring. These included collaboration, with many teachers saying they worked together with colleagues near and far as well as students' families to develop processes and resources for instruction.
Evaluating "skip-year" growth -- determined by combining students' current scores with those from 2 years ago -- will provide a more accurate assessment of students' academic progress in 2021, according to a report from the Data Quality Campaign, the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Collaborative for Student Success. "Having growth data next year will be crucial for understanding how school closures affected student progress and what supports they will need to get back on track," said Jim Cowen, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success.
Educators preparing for the uncertainty of the coming school year share in this blog post some "dos and don'ts" of teaching during the coronavirus outbreak. Teacher Amy Klein advises peers to keep it simple, promote routine and make time for one-on-one learning, but avoid a 100% screen-based model or assigning more work than would be given in the classroom.
Utah students' eligibility for free milk and free or reduced price lunches will be determined by their household income and size, according to guidelines set forth by the state education board and Child Nutrition Programs. Certain other criteria, including acceptance into the SNAP program, also allow students access to the lunch program.