Bridging the Digital Divide
Several internet providers are offering free internet and Wi-Fi access to homes with K-12 or college students in an effort to help with distance learning. They also announced waiving late fees and service cancellations to customers experiencing hardships because of the coronavirus pandemic and are unable to pay their bills. Also, many communities, including Palm Beach in Florida, are partnering with local companies to get more than 11,000 digital devices into the hands of students who need them to participate in online classes, as reported by WPEC on March 20.
Success Academy’s Approach to Distance Learning
Success Academy is going completely virtual in response to pandemic-related school closures, and Eva Moskowitz hosted a webinar on March 17 explaining their strategy. Students will follow a schedule, with middle school students attending school virtually from 9 to 4 and high schoolers from 9 to 5:30 Monday through Friday. Elementary school students will have a 2.5- to 3.5-hour day. One teacher in each grade—the most engaging and inspiring, the clearest, perhaps the funniest—will be selected to deliver the lessons via video calls in each subject area to all students in the grade. This approach frees the remaining teachers to take attendance, problem solve and work individually with students by phone, such as seeing to their individual needs, reviewing their work and addressing misconceptions.
Miami-Dade County Shifts to Completely Virtual Education
The Miami-Dade School District has been preparing for the possibility of school closures since day one, according to a press release on March 18. Earlier in the month, the District provided teachers with additional professional development online to support distance learning. In addition, a support hotline was established for teachers, students and parents seeking assistance with distance learning. The expectation is that students will continue to progress in their learning under the consultation and guidance of their teachers.