COVID-19

Could the Delta Variant Stop a Normal School Year Before it Starts?

For a brief moment, it felt like parents had made it. School was wrapping up. People, including kids 12 and older, were getting vaccinated. Mask mandates were easing. But now we’re facing the delta variant — a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus. States with large outbreaks are seeing rising case numbers among children as well as adults. As it reaches into our communities, how does this strain affect children, and how can we help…

Read More »

What Parents Should Know About the Delta Variant and Back to School

The Delta variant may be the most contagious COVID-19 strain yet, causing outbreaks around the globe – even in places where the virus had previously been under control. In the United States, it has quickly become responsible for 50% of all COVID-19 infections nationwide. What does that mean for kids who are and aren’t vaccinated? Connecticut Children’s infectious disease expert John R. Schreiber, MD, MPH shares seven things parents should know. 1. The Delta variant…

Read More »

Are Schools Prepared to Meet the Needs of Students with Disabilities?

As students return to schools shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, many large school districts are not prepared to meet the needs of well more than 1 million students with disabilities who have a legal right to receive support and services but are not getting them ― and the problem is most severe for students of color, according to a new report. The crisis existed before the pandemic began in spring 2020, but was exacerbated in the…

Read More »

Can Schools Require COVID-19 Vaccines for Eligible Students?

With the first COVID-19 vaccines now authorized for adolescents, ages 12 and up, a big question looms: will students be required to get vaccinated before returning to their classrooms in the fall? In the United States, school vaccination requirements are established by states rather than the federal government. The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows states to make regulations protecting public health. Every state currently requires K-12 students to be vaccinated against some diseases,…

Read More »

5 Things We’ve Learned About Online Learning So Far

Deborah Rosenthal has learned a thing or two about online learning. She starts her virtual kindergarten class on Zoom every morning with a song — today, it’s the Spanish version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Her students clap along. There’s a greeting from the class mascot (a dragon), yoga, meditation and then some practice with letter sounds. Rosenthal teaches Spanish immersion in a public school in San Francisco’s Mission District. Most of…

Read More »

What We Know About Pandemic Impact on Learning

A sweeping review of national test data suggests pandemic impact on student learning may not be as bad as we feared. According to this study, the pandemic-driven jump to online learning has had little impact on children’s reading growth and has only somewhat slowed gains in math. That positive news comes from the testing nonprofit NWEA and covers nearly 4.4 million U.S. students in grades three through eight. But the report also includes a worrying…

Read More »

For Top Universities, 2021 Is a Great Year In College Admissions

Not all of the most selective colleges have given out their acceptance letters yet. The Ivy League will announce Tuesday evening, but the trends are already clear. The pandemic has not hurt the college admissions; it’s helped them. It has sent them new applicants, new minority and first-generation applicants, and new attention. The results are starting to come in — and they suggest that the most selective private and public institutions are going to have…

Read More »

20 Spring Activities for Kids Staying Home for April Break

Looking for COVID-safe spring activities for your children? Below are some sure-fire, family-friendly staycation ideas to keep your kids busy, sparing you some much-needed time to get work done. 1. Play online board games. Boardgamearena.com works in your browser and on most game consoles (no download necessary), and it offers 175 modern board games. Tabletopia is another online arena for virtual board gaming and contains more than 800 board games. Pogo is another option for…

Read More »

What Counts as Attendance in the Time of COVID-19?

For as long as anyone can remember, taking attendance and rewarding kids for showing up has been a time-honored school ritual. Like so many other aspects of education, that simple measure — “here” or “absent” — is not so simple anymore. States are having to update their attendance policies to cover the realities of virtual learning, and where school is being held in-person, strict coronavirus health protocols mean students must now stay home at the…

Read More »

Raise Student Motivation with These 5 Strategies

As we look forward to a foreseeable future of mostly online learning, teachers are finding themselves walking a tightrope of keeping students motivated while not letting their own morale down. Student motivation is a major concern regardless of which study model is adopted by each school: online, blended, hybrid, or a myriad variation. In the current pandemic scenario where teachers must deal with alternative learning modes, student motivation is especially important. Here are 5 strategies…

Read More »