Summer's Here. Now What?
June 12, 2020
The official end of the school year is upon us, and we still don’t know how or when our students will return to school. On June 11, 2020, the state of Washington released a Planning Guide that is being used to make key decisions regarding the reopening of schools,
and the only thing that is certain is that the 2020-2021 school year will look completely different from anything we’ve ever known. At the same time, the results from the 2019-2020 school year are coming in, and they show that virtual education was largely unsuccessful. In light of all this information, it’s becoming clearer that your role as your child’s
educator may not be over just yet.
WHAT WILL EDUCATION LOOK LIKE GOING FORWARD?
While nothing has officially been decided yet, the most likely model for a return to school will involve separating students into two groups, who will attend school on a rotating schedule to ensure that social distancing can be maintained while students are in class. This means that students will probably continue virtual learning, on some level.
For in-person instruction, the Planning Guide recommends that elementary students be kept in the same core group, which means that your child could spend all day with the same 10 students (or however many students are allowed in a classroom while maintaining social distancing). The Planning Guide also suggests cancelling all large gatherings (field trips, assemblies, etc.), suspending classes like choir or band that would require the removal of a face covering, staggering arrival and dismissal times, and increasing the amount of time students spend outside (as weather permits).
The hope is that in the fall, with your children attending school on at least a partial basis, your students will have more support and guidance. Additionally, lessons have been learned from the emergency suspension of school due to COVID-19, which will help teachers and students better navigate the upcoming school year.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
In order to help your children retain the information they learned this year (and hopefully grow their knowledge), you have options during the summer and beyond:
Amazon offers 1000s of free ebooks for kids, which can be read by downloading their Kindle app.
Open Library is another resource for free books to read online.
Khan Academy continues to be a great resource. The site has released lesson plans for different subjects and recommended daily schedules—sorted by grade. Not only does Khan Academy provide instructional videos, but the site also provides practice and quizzes to help students master subjects. Access to Khan Academy has always been free.
Google’s Teach from Anywhere provides another resource to help supplement your student’s education. It focuses on collaborative teaching and learning. We learned in “What Would a Teacher Do?” that math and reading are the subjects that are the most important. Math and science can easily be integrated into any learning project. Visit our Supplemental Educational Resources page for ideas.
Additionally, these sources have more examples of learning projects:
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