May 18th, 2020

New policies, practices and perspectives

COVID-19 enables educators to reach out to our students via remote learning in a brand-new, exciting way. Right now, educators are doing well-being check-ins via Google Classroom and ZOOM and Webex conferencing. Video conferencing, when students attend and turn on their camera, is working to support well-being. Social relationships are maintained and built through breakout sessions. Our school is prioritizing SEL right now by posting agreed upon policies for remote learning expectations. These were a set of norms developed by the instructional leadership team and other stakeholders. The barriers that prevent us from incorporating more SEL into our work are gaps in technological tools available for students for at-home use and in cases for some students, a suitable home environment for social, emotional learning to take place. The supports that we need are more technological resources (ie. laptops computers and reliable wifi) as well as enhanced effective communication with parent groups.

() |
Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Hi Heema:

What ideas do you have for overcoming the challenges at students' homes? Buying them technology only gets you so far, right? What additional supports do you need to make distance learning work for all of your students?

| Reply

We have a new policy called "Cowboy Heroes." (Cowboys is our mascot.) It addresses behavior expectations for distance learning and settings in which they can occur at home. It starts with honoring education. Students are requested to commit to two hours of learning each day when they are able, and do the additional assignments provided. They are told to submit their honest work and to take advantage of the learning opportunities for
their own growth. Students are told how get ready to
learn (be on time, be dressed for a meeting, choosing an appropriate background, etc.) In ZOOM and Webex meetings they are asked to use their real name and to use the mute
feature unless they are speaking. Additionally, they are encouraged to let their family members know when they have meetings and to know when they have theirs. They are instructed to let their family members know their study schedule, to keep their workload
manageable and to ask for help when they need it. For the SEL piece, they are told to forgive themselves if they have procrastinated and to focus on how to get things done. They are encouraged to collaborate with friends and classmates when appropriate, and to check in on each other’s progress in learning. Additionally, they should answer people’s questions, provide encouragement for schoolwork, etc. I have many more tenets on which to expand Cindy, but perhaps this answers your basic inquiry on additional supports. Thanks. And let me know if there is anything else I can provide.