New Database: Dozens of School Districts Share Their Early Plans for Teaching, Learning and Supports During the Pandemic. Here’s What the Top 12 Systems Are Doing
With the vast majority of America’s public schools now shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, more than 54 million children have been told that they won’t be attending class for the next several weeks. In many cases, students may be left learning from home through the end of the academic year.
In response to this unprecedented wave of closures, teachers, principals and district leaders across the country have quickly hatched plans to ensure that students continue learning through online lessons, e-mailed work packets, classroom video chats and other alternatives.
Still, the logistics of getting millions of kids — and also their parents — comfortable with online tools and curricula will be a considerable challenge.
So what are districts doing in the face of this unprecedented challenge? A new and evolving public database compiled by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research center based at the University of Washington Bothell, is capturing specific district-by-district efforts in transitioning to distance efforts:
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Click to see the full database. (CRPE)
Analyzing dozens of top plans, including those at most of the nation’s biggest districts, CRPE found most school systems prioritizing student nutrition and child health, while still yet to iron out details of distance learning plans and how to serve special education students in remote settings. (CRPE’s Robin Lake published a detailed analysis of the findings)
You can scan the full database of how districts responded; here’s a closer look at how nine of the top 12 systems stand as of March 23:
New York City
- The nation’s largest district’s closed campuses March 16, and distance learning launched Monday.
- The district is providing specific curriculum and devices. Teachers received training the week of March 16.
- Specific information about special education is not available, but schools are expected to comply with students’ individualized education programs.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District, where the closure started March 16, is offering a variety of optional resources such as Khan Academy and SAT/ACT practice tests, with some schools providing more specific assignments and materials.
- The district is also offering educational content through public television and providing parent training for online platforms, resources for special populations and wifi.
- The district is not providing specific curriculum, teacher training or nonacademic programming.
- The district is not currently providing devices but there is some indication on the LAUSD website that it plans to do so.
- Florida’s largest district, where the closure began March 16, started distance learning the following day.
- The district is providing specific curriculum, teacher support, resources for special populations, nonacademic programming, wifi and devices.
- The district is not providing parent training.
Broward County (Florida)
- Broward County schools closed March 16 and are expected to start distance learning next Monday, March 30. Some initial resources are available online now.
- The district is providing teacher training, specific curriculum, resources for special populations, wifi and devices.
- The district is not providing parent training or nonacademic programming.
- The Houston Independent School District closed starting March 13. Staff were told to be available online Monday for training, but a distance learning plan for students had not been released as of March 20.
Hillsborough County (Florida)
- The district, which closed March 16, started distance learning Monday and is revising its plan to prepare for an extended closure.
- The district is providing specific curriculum, teacher training, wifi and devices.
- The district is not providing parent training, resources for special populations or nonacademic programming.
Orange County (Florida)
- Orange County Public Schools, which closed March 17, will start optional, self-paced distance learning March 30.
- Students can request wifi hotspots if they need them.
- Information and instructions for using the distance learning tools are available for parents online.
Fairfax County (Virginia)
- Virginia’s largest district closed March 16 and will begin mandatory distance learning March 30. Ahead of the 30th, however, the school system has already started offering some optional activities for students.
- The district is not yet providing specific curriculum, resources for special populations, nonacademic programming, teacher training or devices.
- Hawaii operates a statewide school district, which shut down March 19.
- There was no distance learning plan in place as of March 20, but teachers began working remotely March 19 and may be preparing to teach online.
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