In the coming weeks, many school districts are opening their doors to welcome back their students – but this welcome looks very different than that of the last school year. At this moment, with pandemic restrictions still in force in most states, many students are at home firing up their laptops or flipping through carefully assembled packets. Those students who are back in a school building are wearing masks and sitting apart in the classroom.
Even with all this change, we are working together to get through this. Teachers, missing their students, formed car parades and drove through school neighborhoods, so that they could see their students and those students could see them. South Dakota teacher Chris Waba brought his whiteboard to a student’s front porch and tutored his charge through the glass of the front door. Many districts stepped up their technology game, purchasing laptops and hotspots to give to students and their families. At ISA partner school Carver High School in Winston-Salem, NC, graduation was drive through, while at partner school Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, NJ, principal Naseed Gifted rode around around Newark on a parade float decorated like a graduation stage, presenting graduates with diplomas, personalized posters, and gift bags.
Teachers and students are being creative, showing resilience, and doing what needs to be done to teach and learn and carry on. We salute all of you as this 2020-2021 school year gets underway, and we look forward to hearing more stories about how your schools are adapting to support your students as the year progresses.
View Our August 4 Webinar: Preparing for this Fall: The District’s Tech Toolkit
In response to the remote learning measures taken related to COVID-19, schools and districts are working hard to improve technology access and implementation. This webinar, the fourth in our series related to teaching and learning during the pandemic, discussed strategies necessary to determine why and how to streamline what goes into your school’s or district’s tech toolkit. Streamlining the toolkit allows learning to focus on the standards taught, rather than measuring technological fluency.
As this webinar illustrated, educators already demonstrate this capacity in other areas, and so the key will be to transfer thinking and planning to the “new normal” of virtual learning. The webinar featured the following presenters:
- Dr. Keith Look, ISA’s Senior Director for District Services and a certified Google trainer
- Charmaine Thompson, Chief of Instructional Technology, Charles County (MD) Public Schools
- Yvonne Waller, Principal, Snyder and Innovation High Schools, Jersey City (NJ) Public Schools
- Ebony Jason, High School Mathematics Instructional Coach, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County (NC) School District
Meet Instructional Coach Kimberly Fluet