COVID-19 Educator Help Desk

Inadequately equipped public schools

  • 1.  Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-24-2020 11:48
    ​What are the schools with insufficient resources doing to engage with students during this time. Are parents concerned about their kids not being able to get the resources some other schools have. How are the schools & parents reacting in this situation.

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    Jigna Prabhu
    CDW-G
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  • 2.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-25-2020 08:08

    My district would match your description and every day I am amazed, in a good way, of what our parents are doing. Most of my students only had a cell phone to be able to access any digital assignments. And cell phones without unlimited data. At least 15 families of my 84 students have taken up the local internet company's offer for free/discounted WiFi for two months. And those same families bought their children chrome books to be able to work from home.  I see the parents and caregivers trying their best with what they have. 

    I have not had any parents complaining to me, but that may be happening in their own homes without them reaching out to us. 



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    Emily Donner
    Teacher
    Middletown City Schools
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  • 3.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-25-2020 09:43
    That is indeed very supportive.  I am hearing if cases where parents are calling private schools to enroll kids there. Not sure how different ir is there given current circumstances but curious if there is a trend around shift from from public to private

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    Jigna Prabhu
    CDW-G
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  • 4.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    PLN Leader
    Posted 03-25-2020 15:01
    I've been making parent newsletters with ideas that they can do with their children while home.  Most are low or no tech ideas from around the web:  https://app.edu.buncee.com/bunceeboard/52172aa872a1445b8bbef95eb3ce89ba

    Teachers can use the ideas as well to get students thinking and creating.

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    Laurie Guyon
    Assistant Coordinator for Model Schools
    WSWHE BOCES
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  • 5.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    PLN Leader
    Posted 03-25-2020 16:34
    In our region, the teachers have put packets together of activities and resources for parents to use/do with their children in an ongoing fashion (no tech). That will continue as needed (though distribution has been challenging as we are in NY and NY is currently a hotspot; lots of regulations have been issued to prevent people from much contact).

    In other districts, devices were sent home (or available for pickup) when possible/needed. Network access is one of the biggest problems. There are plenty of families located in regions with no network options currently, and of course bandwidth continues to be a concern even if, and especially if, everyone had a way to connect!

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    Kristin Edwards
    Distance Learning Specialist
    CiTiBOCES
    kedwards@citiboces.org
    @CiTiKristin
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  • 6.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    PLN Leader
    Posted 03-25-2020 17:14
    This is what we're doing, too. We sent tablets home, but that doesn't fix the lack of wifi. We are giving students online and offline lessons and calling home daily to provide assistance if needed.

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    Jessica Shupik
    Assistant Supervisor of Educational Programs
    New Jersey Office of Education
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  • 7.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-25-2020 20:07

    Did you see the list online of providers that are offering free WiFi?



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    Jennifer Cauthers
    teacher/district technology leader
    Mahopac Central Schools
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  • 8.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    PLN Leader
    Posted 03-26-2020 18:05
    Yes, and provided it to parents and guardians. Internet access might be high on our educational priority list, but it's not a necessity for most of our families.

    We have students in resource homes and group homes, and the process for getting anything approved is further complicated when you involve additional organizations. We're doing everything we can think of, but the online offers are mostly extras if students have access.

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    Jessica Shupik
    Assistant Supervisor of Educational Programs
    New Jersey Office of Education
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  • 9.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-26-2020 11:47
    Same here. Our district is well resourced but a lot of our families are not. We are on Spring Break right now and will be sending home the classroom Chromebooks to grades 3-8 when we get back, as well as providing paper options and LOTS of info about where and how to get free wifi. (Our high school students have always taken their devices back and forth and we're sticking with paper for primary grades.)

    Teachers are using ParentSquare to communicate with families.

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    Jennifer Chance Cook
    Technology Integration Specialist
    Perry Township Schools
    Indianapolis, IN
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  • 10.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-25-2020 16:44
    My roughly 800 middle schoolers are largely without devices, to start at the start. The district has recently published a good list of digital resources, but without devices other than mostly data-limited cell phones, that's not a big help for a majority of our student population. But this is: a district partnership with NPT, which will offer free learning programming from 6am to 2pm every weekday. They announced it an hour ago on Facebook. The MNPS digital resources are on my classroom start page at Symbaloo, along with a great number of other links free to use.

    We are all awaiting decisions from above, but in the meanwhile many of my teachers have taken to releasing short instructional videos on Instagram as Story posts.

    I hope any of this helps, and stay well, all,
    Scott

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    Scott Merrick, Co-Chair, ISTE VENetwork
    Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Metaverse
    Nashville TN
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  • 11.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    PLN Leader
    Posted 03-25-2020 21:53
    Hi Jigna,
    This is an important question.  As we are seeing, this crisis is magnifying inequities that already exist in the system.   Some districts are issuing tech to those students that have limited access at home while others are working to provide hotspots as well as communicate connectivity opportunities that some companies are providing.  For example, where I live the local company is providing 2 months of free community access to their community hotspots.  In districts where food is being distributed, some are working to distribute learning kits/activities with the food.  (All of this is done with proper social distancing).  Fundamentally, it seems that the first step is to re-affirm the connection between teachers and students in a humane way.  Teachers can reach out via phone if that is their only option.  Several teachers are hosting zoom "wellness check in" chats with available students and families, while other teachers create a short video greeting to send out to students.   Districts are realizing that it is not realistic (or desired) to try to mirror regular school in an online platform.   Providing opportunities for engagement, enrichment, and continued learning is key.  Evaluations and summative assessments that count towards a final grade are generally not realistic or equitable.  I would be interested to hear about your community and schools.

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    Matthew Hiefield
    Teacher on Special Assignment
    Westview High School
    @MattHiefield
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  • 12.  RE: Inadequately equipped public schools

    Posted 03-26-2020 10:53
    Our district has addressed the digital / internet divide in the following ways:

    1. For those students who do not have reliable access to the internet, teachers have made traditional paper and pencil packets to be sent home with students.  Students are given a choice board of assignments on which to work.  These materials are delivered to their homes by our bus drivers.  This also allowed our bus drivers to continue to work during this time.  The bus drivers also pick up the assignments to return to the school.
    2. We have not had the best of luck, but I know that phone providers are offering discounts on hot spots to address the issue on internet access for students.  If possible, maybe try reaching out to your internet / phone providers to see if they are offering any deals to address this issue.

    Thank you.

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    Marcy Brugger
    Dist. Technology Integration Specialist
    Elmwood 322
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