The CDC has released new guidance for schools on the use of cloth face masks for students. Recommendations call for wearing cloth face masks, and schools are advised to establish plans to curb bullying and discrimination among students for wearing or not wearing masks.
It is important to design lessons -- and instructions -- with the student experience in mind, especially as many schools will be using a remote environment for classes, according to Sarah Kesty, a special-education teacher. In this article, Kesty offers tips to ensure students' needs are at the forefront by test-running lessons ahead of time, evaluating written instructions and offering lessons in a consistent format.
Some teachers in Half Moon Bay, Calif., have spent the summer working on how to better engage students online when school starts. High-school English teacher Theresa Janzen says remote instruction could help some students "come out of their shells," while elementary-school teacher Tyler Elliott says he changed his "mindset" about remote learning and that fall "could be really cool."
President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos held an event at the White House Wednesday focused on reopening schools to in-person instruction. A special-education teacher who has asthma stated she felt safe resuming in-class learning, given her district's safety practices, and an education researcher warned about the learning losses that can come from closed campuses.
Teachers nationwide are working to master online learning platforms and techniques to better help their students. Virginia STEM teacher Phyllis Meade and others describe their learning process for tools such as Canvas' Learning Management System, PowerSchool's Unified Classroom and Google Classroom.
Virtual language exchanges in the Seattle area are bringing together fluent world language speakers with residents who want to learn a language. A coffee shop has moved its Spanish-language learning exchanges online, while a French-language learning group chats via videoconference three times a month.
As schools prepare for the upcoming year, they are facing enhanced focus on safeguarding student data, such as sensitive medical information -- coronavirus test results or daily temperature checks, for example -- or videos of online lessons that include students' faces. Consortium for School Networking CEO Keith Krueger said school leaders will need to balance "state reporting requirements and privacy laws" while taking anti-discrimination laws, labor laws and other matters into consideration.
The shift to remote instruction in the spring led a Tennessee school district -- where 85% of students receive meal assistance -- to invest in a structured virtual learning program to ensure all students have access to the internet and tools to learn, writes Greg Smedley-Warren, a kindergarten teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools. In this article, Smedley-Warren shares lessons learned, including the importance of providing food for students and connecting with families.
Music teachers in Oklahoma are preparing for a fall semester that they hope will allow for rehearsals for bands and other performers. Schools are using preliminary information from a recent study on air circulation and aerosol spread from singers and instruments to determine how best to conduct music education with considerations for masks, physical distancing, rehearsal session length and time between rehearsals to allow air to circulate.
A report by A+ Colorado finds that students in the state are making progress in reading but are stagnant when it comes to math. Van Schoales, president of A+ Colorado, says schools and districts need to balance attention across subjects.
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