Schools must quickly find ways to offer remote learning

Clay Curtis
March 27, 2020

"No one is at the school but the cafeteria workers", Platt said.

Skipcha Elementary School kindergarten teacher Lisa Stewart is in contact with her colleagues through Zoom conferencing. They have also placed learning resources on their website.

A combination of apps, videos, and learning management platforms are being used.

Education and child care during the COVID-19 pandemic will look very different. Yet at least one district in Washington state has paused online learning specifically because of concerns that it was not accommodating all of its students and thus open to a lawsuit.

So far, however, details are sparse and the message from school officials appears to be "we're working on it".

Though no schedule has been shared yet, principals will be reaching out to students with more information.

This is a challenging time as all schools navigate through uncharted territory. This was particularly critical for teenage students who often sought and received greater support from their friends than their family networks.

Other districts, including Derry Township, have announced plans to resume "instructional days", starting March 30, which means their teachers will cover new academic material and try to complete coursework remotely. "We played Simon Says and danced to our favorite classroom songs".

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The ministry will also be making an update later this week for parents and students in K-12 classes.

"The district is providing paper pencil packets for students who do not have internet", Hull said.

Teachers will be using email, phone calls, and video meetings via Google Classroom to connect with and support their students. We anticipate the bulk of the lessons and instructions will start a week later. "It will not replace face-to-face instruction with a teacher". They are using this week to prepare for the delivery of educational opportunities beginning March 30th. At the same time, we must address the diverse needs of our entire community of learners.

"We are trying to be organized so the students and their parents are not overwhelmed", she said. We are not going to launch remote learning until we have defined all expectations for instruction for teachers and learning for students.

Rivera said his office also is working with the governor and General Assembly to identify other existing money that could help districts provide additional technical devices to students and generally assist with the sudden transition to distance learning. For that reason, we are concentrating on delivering the most essential lessons that our students need.

Chris Moon teaches 6th grade language arts and science and high school economics with the Marcola School District. These resources are expected to be available the week of April 6. In addition, much of our adopted curriculum has a digital component that teachers and students can access.

"At the same time, our goal is to create teaching and learning conditions that will, as best as possible given the circumstances, lead to the successful completion of the school year for all students and to support students in advancing to the next school year and to graduate".

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