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How families can confront remote learning

<&firstgraph>Amid concerns of coronavirus clusters and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, and based on social distancing recommendations from medical professionals, schools across the country began to close their doors and adopt a remote learning model in March 2020. One of the largest communities affected was New York City, which closed schools across the five boroughs. The New York City school system is vast, with 1,800 schools servicing more than one million students.

<&firstgraph>School administrators and educators quickly scrambled to find a workaround to meet children’s educational needs. Remote learning has been a part of many school curriculums for some time. While remote learning had predominantly been reserved for higher learning institutions, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it became a necessity for grades K through 12 as well. Teachers have had to design curriculums and assignments virtually on the fly in an attempt to minimize disruptions that could adversely affect students.

<&firstgraph>Remote learning requires the cooperation of school staff and also parents and guardians. Patience is necessary, and parents and educators may need to completely transform their daily schedules. The following tips can be an asset as students continue to navigate remote learning.

• Record class sessions.<&firstgraph> Teachers can consider recording or ‘going live’ with class instruction so that students can view the video and still have access to their teachers. This helps parents who may be unfamiliar with explaining the curriculum.

• Utilize chat features.<&firstgraph> Remote education software programs likely have a chat or ‘hangout’ feature, which enables classrooms to keep in touch and ask questions in real time.

• Keep a schedule.<&firstgraph> It’s easy to begin to sleep late and fall out of routine when not required to go to a school building. Families should make scheduling a priority, which can help students stay on top of lessons and complete their assignments on time.

• Ask questions.<&firstgraph> Everyone is learning as they go, and further clarification may be needed. Students should email or chat with teachers if they don’t understand an assignment or are unsure about instructions. Teachers may be able to clearly model a math problem or explain a concept via video chat for students who need help.

• Explore educational options.<&firstgraph> Many companies are offering free educational services while kids are home from school. Scholastic.com is offering online courses, Nat Geo for Kids, Fun Brain, PBS Kids, and Highlight Kids are other places to turn to for activities.

<&firstgraph>Remote learning has become the new norm as the world continues to navigate COVID-19 in an effort to keep the public safe.