The upcoming school year is filled with uncertainty, writes Fred Ende, a director of curriculum and instructional services in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., who compares it with the themes in "Frozen 2." In this blog post, Ende offers three strategies to make the new year a "voyage of discovery."
A California school district in the spring established a mentoring program to help support students during remote instruction. Now, as the district prepares to resume the school year -- and the mentorship program -- Jon Schwartz, a music teacher and mentor, describes how he used 90-minute Zoom sessions with a student to establish consistency, provide support and help connect the student with the curriculum.
Teachers will need to focus on what they can control as the school year gets started in a way like never before, writes Larry Ferlazzo, an English and social studies teacher in California. In this blog post, Ferlazzo and other educators share their priorities and how they will carry lessons learned in the spring into the coming year, including Vivian Yun, an educator in Northern Virginia who writes about her focus on relationships with students and equity.
Fourth-grade teacher Lindsey Earle is spearheading the construction of an outdoor classroom at her Pewaukee, Wis., school this summer to allow for more outside learning, including the start of the school day. The classroom will be 12-sided and features a fire pit that Earle says she expects will be used for outdoor learning in the winter.
Nationwide, states and cities are setting varying thresholds of coronavirus positivity rates to reopen schools. Pennsylvania, for example, requires a positivity rate of less than 5%, while New York set a 3% cap, and a county in Tennessee says schools can reopen as long as fewer than 25% of coronavirus tests are positive.
Salesforce is rolling out a platform to aid contact tracing and use of health data among schools. The platform, Work.com for Schools, also is intended to help manage campus safety, including capabilities to help determine whether students and teachers can safely return to campus.
Residents of Bordentown, N.J., are raising money to turn the Clara Barton Schoolhouse, the first public school in the state and one of the first in the US, into a museum that will be open to visitors and students. Barton, who went on to found the American Red Cross among other accomplishments, started the one-room schoolhouse in 1852 with six students but had 600 students by the following year.
Classroom integration of students in general and special education requires two teachers per classroom, but as New York City prepares to reopen, it is unclear how the schools will accommodate about 100,000 students with disabilities in reconfigured classrooms under social distancing guidelines and with staffing issues. Integrated co-teaching ensures students with special needs are given access to the standard curriculum while receiving support of a special-education teacher.
Immediate federal funding is needed to repair school facilities to help them safely reopen to students amid the coronavirus pandemic, said officials with the US Green Building Council, the National Council on School Facilities, the 21st Century School Fund, [Re]Build America's School Infrastructure Coalition and the National Association of State Energy Officials. In this commentary, they call on Congress to include $10 billion for school repairs and $25 million to improve school ventilation and air quality in the next coronavirus relief package.
Quarantines of 2,000 students and school staff in five states have followed the reopening of their schools. Educators and medical professionals have expressed concerns that this trend will continue as more campuses reopen for the 2020-21 school year.
- Page 1