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3 Keys to Building a Community During Distance Learning

3 Keys to Building a Community During Distance Learning

Source: District Administration

A charter school leader shares her system's best practices for engaging students, teachers, and parents

At Inspire Charter Schools, we had to make changes to our curriculum when we made the transition to a 100% virtual learning environment due to COVID-19, but they were nowhere near the drastic changes other schools had to make. Over the years, we had gradually built and improved upon a support system for our educators and families to make the virtual portion of our blended learning seamless. It’s the key to allowing students to continue their learning in a quality, stable way. Here are three ways we provide active support to both families and educators to push forward a virtual education.

Finding the right tech

I truly believe educators can adapt any curriculum to a virtual setting. Most reading programs have a virtual component — you just might have to step outside your comfort zone. Even veteran educators may need to buddy up with someone and practice teaching with each other before facing a live class. As educators practice, they will discover what tech tools are missing in order for them to teach reading effectively.

One of my educators had a student sign up for her math class. No one told us that the student was legally blind. When we learned that he couldn’t see the screen, we prepped all the notes and sent them to a translator to have them transcribe them into Braille. Even though he couldn’t see the screen, he could listen to all of the classes and study his notes like anyone else. A lot of this adaptation requires out-of-the-box thinking. It just took us a couple weeks to implement a process that would alter this student’s academic experience.

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