A director of special education shares what COVID-19 taught her about preparing for school shutdowns and improving everyday education.
Like just about everyone else in the country, our district, Warren County Schools, was on spring break when we found out that schools across the state would be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also just like everyone else, we encountered some challenges as we transitioned to distance learning.
Fortunately, we found unexpected help with some of those challenges, and we learned some important lessons that will be useful if we need to close our buildings again, support individual students at a distance, and even just to strengthen the connection between home and school for our students.
Get The Students Connected
The first lesson we learned was that getting students connected to teachers and each other isn’t so easy! Our high school and some of our middle school grades are a 1:1 computing environment, but we didn’t have a computer for every student in grades K-6. We relied on families to provide their own devices where possible, and our technology department repurposed district devices for students whose families didn’t have their own.
Still, we found that it wasn’t as simple as just getting devices into their hands. Some of our students didn’t have internet access, and distance learning is pretty challenging when you’re relying on paper packets for the families without an internet connection.
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