Distance Learning and Home Schooling
While Connecticut is currently planning to reopen schools full time at the start of the 2020-21 academic year, part of that framework is to be prepared to return to remote learning if in-school classes are canceled. Below are resources available to both children and parents, as well as educators, to help encourage distance learning during this challenging time.
Thinkalong.org: Using trusted source materials from PBS, NPR and local public media stations, Thinkalong is a free program that helps students think critically about media, develop informed opinions, and practice respectful, civil discourse.
PBS Learning Media: CPTV and PBS have curated FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for teachers.
PBS Kids: The CPTV PBS Kids 24/7 channel provides PBS Kids’ high-quality content is available to all children and caregivers on a platform and at a time that works for them, including prime time, weekends, and other out-of-school times when they are most likely to tune in. The live stream includes a first-of-its kind integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS Kids show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience.
The College Board: The College Board is offering free, live and on-demand AP review courses.
Kitchen Classroom: America's Test Kitchen has launched a series of cooking lessons with kids. Kitchen Classroom is providing recipes, activities, and quizzes each weekday, as well as a family project each weekend.
Here's a great list of children's authors doing online readings and activities.
What Will Happen With This School Year?
The state has released Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut's Plan to Learn and Grow Together, a plan to reopen schools full time across the state. There are six guiding principles outlined in this roadmap:
- Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff
- Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall
- Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread
- Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption
- Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff
- Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school
The plan includes requirements and guidance for Daily Operations, Facilities, Child Nutrition, Transportation, and more elements of school operations. The entire plan is available to read online, but below are some highlights:
- Schools will reorganize classroom layouts to maximize social distancing, maintaining a distance of 6 feet where possible.
- Schools will comply with DPH Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting of Schools.
- With few exceptions, all children will be required to wear masks in order to go to school. Adapt, Advance, Achieve says schools must be prepared to supply masks to any student or staff member without one.
- Foot traffic patterns will be in place in shared areas such as hallways.
- Schools and institutions participating in the National School Lunch Program will continue to make free and reduced-price meals and snacks available to eligible students.
- Parents will have the choice to continue participating in remote learning, instead of in-school learning, for their children. Schools will be required to provide temporary support options for these students.
- Rules and restrictions may be increased or relaxed throughout the school year, dependent on public health data. This may include cancellation of classes and a return to remote learning.
Here are 11 key elements of a school reopening plan to review, if you are considering sending your children back to school.
How do I talk to my kids about Coronavirus?
NPR education reporter Cory Turner asked some experts what kids might want to know about the coronavirus, and created this comic to help explain to kids (and to the rest of us) what we need to understand about the virus and how it is spread.
Meet The Helpers has produced a series of short videos to help kids understand the coronavirus and how to stay safe, as well as tips for parents.
- What is The Coronavirus: A doctor explains coronavirus for young children (3-8 years).
- Wash Your Hands: Hand washing tips for young children (3-8 years).
- Coronavirus Do's & Don'ts for Parents: Tips for parents to talk to young children about Coronavirus.
- Explaining Social Distancing to Children: Explaining social distancing to young children (3-8 years).
"Meet the Helpers" videos are produced by WUCF and distributed by NETA Program Services vis PBS Source
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